Historical French fashion house specialized in leather, Hermès is one of the most prestigious brands in the luxury business. Owned by the fifth generation descendants, today is renowned for its scarves, ties and legendary handbags now became real status symbols. The company, founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès, was born as a horse harnesses and housing workshop. From here the famous logo of the maison: the “Duc Attelé” representing a jockey and coach towed by a horse in as a tribute to the equestrian tradition. After 40 years, the second generation of the family moved the company to the current location of Faubourg Saint Honoré but it was Thierry’s grandchild, Emile Maurice, who, in the Twenties, directed the transformation to a more appropriate reality for a fashion house. At first, they created small deerskin item but then a jewelry line inspired by the equestrian world was launched in 1927; in 1929he created the first feminine collection designed by Lola Prusac. The Thirties were the years of garments that would become icons for the maison and also for the fashion environment like the belt inspired by dog’s harnesses or the handbag created after those used for horses’ saddles. We’re talking about the famous Kelly, a model dedicated to Princes Grace of Monaco that greatly contributed to its success when it appeared on every tabloid in the second postwar period; the handbag immediately became an icon item and its echo has resounded for decades, even today. Another revolutionary idea was launched in 1949: the Hermeselle dress, in printed cotton, which anticipated the prêt-à-porter concept in fashion, a sort of ready made dress that could be tailor-made. In 1951, after the death of Emile, the management of the company was assigned to his sons-in-law Robert Dumas and Jean Guerrand. the time was ripe to boost the company’s incomes, following the great market boom of the Sixties and the strong interest of the medias and the first perfume and silk scarves were created; this is also the period in which the “Duc Attelé” logo was created and orange was chooses as a distinctive color. The next decade was characterized by the griffe’s economical and territorial expansion with the opening of new stores in Europe, United States and Japan. From 1976 under the direction of jean Louis Dumas Hermès, Robert’s son, the company became a holding and started acquisition policies mainly in the textile sector. He tried to “innovate keeping an eye on the tradition”, secure of the historical value of the brand and of the reputation built in over one century of activity. Advertisements appeared with young models wearing precious scarves in an attempt to rejuvenate the brand and make it more desirable to a wider group of consumers; Hermès’ products are more and more present in stores. Jeal Louis Dumas is also the man behind another famous handbag, the Birkin, an icon for the fashionistas and a true status symbol of the present time. The Birkin has a waiting list of over two years and a cost that could even be above ten thousand euros, its name comes from the singer Jane Birkin for whom Dumas designed a handbag in 1984. The legend tells that the two were sitting next to one another during a flight and that Dumas listened to her complaints about the possibility of finding a bag for her needs. This is how this particular model was created and is, just like the Kelly, absolutely custom-made and available only after a long waiting list. Throughout the years, several designers were called to lead the creative department to help style renovation still respecting this brand’s historical tradition, names like Catherine de Karolyi, Nicole de Versian (helped by a young Lacroix), Eric Bergère, Bernard Sanz, Bally, Myrène de Prémoville, Giudicelli and Audibet. In the Nineties, the team was guided by the Belgian designer Martin Margiela that will stay in charge for the collections until 2003 when he leaves his place to Jean Paul Gaultier. The collaboration between Hermès and “l’enfant terrible”, strengthened also by the acquisition of part of the company shares of the designer by the brand, will last till 2010, when Jean Louis Dumas died. Hoping to make more commercial his collections and to make the brand more contemporary, the new owner Patrick Thomas, nominated Christophe Lemaire (who until then had proved his abilities as head designer for Lacoste) to lead the creative department. Today, the holding Hermès International guides a group with over 26 affiliates; it counts 250 stores around the world and finalizes its sales through about 40 highly selected stores. The family still owns the majority of the company shares, followed by the giant of luxury LVHM owning 20%.