Style / Fashion

Hermès in the Making: Inside the Maison

French luxury icon Hermès reveals its trade secrets at the Hermès in the Making event in Singapore.

Sep 20, 2022 | By Ashok Soman
Hermès in the Making
Image: Claus Troelsgaard

Hermès creates extraordinary objects with artisanal value in virtually every fibre — if you own something from the brand, chances are it will stay with you for a good long while. The French luxury house asserts that its creations “develop a patina, become more beautiful over time, and allow themselves to be passed on and repaired.” Bold claims, no doubt, but the brand is only too happy to offer evidence, as you can discover for yourself at the “Hermès in the Making” at the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza, from 1-9 October. Consider this an invitation to not only look at retail icons such as the Kelly bag, but to find out how they are made — from the artisans themselves.

From what we gather, the idea is that you enter a space inspired by the maison’s own ateliers, where the artisans work much as they would in France, or Switzerland if watchmaking is your bag. Hermès has been remarkably steady in delivering its message of responsible whimsy, and the family-owned firm does a fair bit to support traditional crafts. Today, it is a giant in the world of luxury, but it has never strayed from its roots in old-fashioned (1837, to be precise) craftsmanship. In fact, Hermès claims that the secret to making enduring objects is to use artisanal know-how.

Image: Hermès
Image: Mattia Lotti

Hermès is so far from fast fashion that neither of those words really applies to it. So the brand is upfront that it intends to use “Hermès in the Making” for its “responsible and sustainable model” of making products. Mind that these are hugely successful retail products that are rooted in a tradition of excellence rather than the zeitgeist. Point-in-fact, one of these products is the Hermès Vivace showjumping saddle. Illustrating this at the event are four carefully curated themes: “preservation and transmission of know-how, respect for and quality of materials, commitment to the long-term, and regional anchoring.”

As we understand it, most of the Hermès universe will be represented so it is not only the making of the aforementioned Kelly and saddle, but also hand-painting of porcelain plates, setting the Chaîne d’ancre bracelet with diamonds and watchmaking like the H08 model. One of the really interesting, and rare, opportunities at an event like this is watching the craftspeople work, and seeing the specialised tools that they use. Some of these are made by the artisans themselves, to suit their specific way of working.

Hermès in the Making
Image: Claus Troelsgaard

When you visit, there will also be activities you can try your hand at, including workshops where you can see how dextrous your hands are. We are particularly intrigued by the musical composition using round knives activity… While admission is free, you must register to attend because you must book slots. There are also other things happening at Hermès in the Making, including conferences on craftsmanship and the preservation of know-how, and screenings of the “Footsteps across the World” collection by documentary filmmaker Frederic Laffont. This series is a showcase of Hermès’ sustainability role.

“Hermès in the Making” runs from 1-9 October at the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza, from noon to 8pm. Interested visitors can book a slot at this link.

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