Tag Archives: Hermes

A Big Year for Hermès

Hello-Hello, and Happy Friday! We’re all adither today, lots going on this weekend, a bit of travel, time with siblings and TQM, hopefully you are looking at a fun weekend as well.

We are brief today, and eager for a touch of Friday Fun, so we begin with something that has long been of interest to many readers, the classic Hermès bag.  The Daily Mail ran a fascinating story last week, “How a Hermès handbag is made: Photographs reveal French fashion house’s design secrets“.

Via RueLaLa

A spot of background from the story:

And now as the French fashion house celebrates its 175th birthday, its design secrets have been unveiled for the first time.

A series of photographs taken inside the famous Paris workshops showcase the craftsmanship required to create one of its bags, some of which cost in excess of £10,000.

The piece is loaded with great photos from Park & Cube.

via The Daily Mail

While we’re not sure this is “the first time” there have been photos from inside the atelier, the pictures from Park & Cube *are* fascinating.

Via Park & Cube

The photos reveal the level of detail in each bag.

Via Park & Cube

The amount of handwork that sets Hermès apart from many others is also evident.

Via Park & Cube

Work on ‘Constance’ bags was underway during the tour when these photos were taken.

Via Park & Cube

And where does the finished product go after work in the atelier is done?

Via Park & Cube

Right into the protective cover of one of those distinctive bags.

It really is a big year for Hermès, as this story in yesterday’s Telegraph reports:

“2012 is a special year for Hermès, Britain and London,” Hermes’ UK and Ireland managing director Thierry Outin told the gathered press at the launch of Leather Forever – an exhibition celebrating the heritage of the French luxury leather label…

The story is about the ‘Leather Forever‘ exhibit celebrating 175 years of Hermès, the London show opened to the public this week.

“Leather Forever”

One of the more interesting things in the Telegraph story addresses the scarcity of the Birkin bag.

“People ask us, is it a strategy?”, Outin tells me in answer to the age-old question about why their iconic Birkin and Kelly handbags are in such short supply. “But no, it simply takes so long to train our artisans. Plus, we like to keep our workshops ‘human-sized’. We like to know the names of every artisan, that to us is very important.”

One of the most amazing items in the show:

Hermès via The Telegraph

The pièce de résistance of the show lurks behind a thick curtain of curling leather spaghetti strands – a room displaying fantastical treasures from Hermès’ bespoke service, including a black patent calfskin wheelbarrow commissioned by the Duke of Windsor for Wallis Simpson in 1947, and a multi-coloured winged saddle (above).

Wow. Just, wow.

In honor of the 175th anniversary and accompanying exhibit the company will also do an online auction with Christies, four one-of-a-kind versions of its PasseGuide bag, the bag that most honors its equestrian heritage.

Christie’s & Hermès

The four bags are a tribute to the United Kingdom and Ireland, representing England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The auction for these begins Monday, the 14th; proceeds will go to the Royal Academy of Arts, where the exhibit is being shown.

For a great story on the company, it’s heritage and its future, the Telegraph has an outstanding piece.

‘Leather Forever’

Talk about some eye candy!


Filed under Friday Fun, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

That Hermès Bag Auction & Bobbi Brown Makeup/Lilly Pulitzer Parfum at Tuesday Morning

Hello-Hello, happy week-after-Christmas!

Today we have a few bits and bytes we thought you might enjoy, the first is about Hermès.  In a recent Journal story by columnist Ralph Gardner, the writer explains how grateful he is that his wife hasn’t ever asked for a “$10,000 Hermès Birkin or Kelly handbag for Christmas”.

I can’t say I spend a lot of time thinking about handbags, though I’m aware that a certain caliber of lady who lunches would feel naked without the correct designer bag.

Mr. Gardner’s story centered on a recent auction of Hermès bags, below we see a woman examining some of the items that were to be auctioned.

Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

We were intrigued by geographic preferences for certain colors in the handbags, geography seems to play a part:

“”New York is a little more subdued—browns and blacks,” Mr. Rubinger said. “Whereas in Beverly Hills there’s a slight preference for bright oranges, bright pinks.”

“In Dallas,” Ms. Guzman added, “they tend to collect more multiples. Everyone down there has a closet full. They don’t just use them; they decorate with them.”

Mr. Rubinger recalled the case of the Judith Leiber collector in Dallas. “The client had a dinner party,” he recalled. “Instead of flowers as the centerpieces, she had Leibers.”

As far as the auction goes, a new record was set, this Birkin sold for $203,150 to an anonymous bidder who lives in the Dallas area.

The rare bag is made of crocodile skins, it’s accented with gold and diamond detailing. The sale was at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, to see all of the bags auctioned, click here.


Also today, word about a few ‘beauty bargains’ from an unexpected source.  While researching a future post on mall appliance prices at those flash sale sites I stumbled across this:

Bobbi Brown at Tuesday Morning

If it is difficult to see, those are three Bobbi Brown makeup items, including the Bobbi Brown EYES Pastel eyeshadow palette at $39.99.

Bobbi Brown EYE Shadow Palette at Tuesday Morning

Doing a quick price check we found it at QVC for $60, elsewhere ranging from $45 to $60.  If memory serves me correctly, this is past season, but as someone who uses Bobbi Brown on a daily basis, this very much looked like a bargain. As you can see, there are two other Bobbi Brown items on sale at Tuesday Morning.

The other brand that struck us by surprise at the deep discounter, Lilly Pulitzer.

Lilly Pulitzer Parfum at Tuesday Morning

Parfum spray in Squeeze, Wink, and Beachy are available at $19.99. A quick price check on these shows them at Drugstore.com for $34 (with shipping included), and The Perfume Spot at $29.99.

So what do you think…are these good deals?

With that we say goodbye until next time!


Filed under preppy

Grand Openings and Wacky Costumes

Hello-Hello, what a glorious Friday it has become, these are the days you dream of if residing in The Great Midwest.  Today we have a few news Bits and Bytes, the majority with a retail overtone, we’ll cap that off with a touch of Friday Fun.

We begin with a glance at Wednesday night’s party at the just-opened Brooks Brothers in Georgetown. This one included a good number of notables, as one might expect in the Capitol. Below left, DJ Benjamin Chang with Fox News anchor Ed Henry, on the right, Self magazine’s DC Editor Marc Adelman with his little one. (Although Brooks does not offer infant sizes, the photo serves as a good reminder that really, it’s never too early.)

Photos: REVAMP.com

Naturally The Consort was impressed by this.


The store is on M Street in space previously occupied by Smith & Hawken as well as part of a Pottery Barn, if the memory cells are at all functional today.

Hillary Leeb/The Georgetown Dish

In addition to our fondness for the apparel and accessories at Brooks, we enjoyed seeing some of the furniture showcased in the new digs.

Photos: REVAMP.com

Nothing like a little custom made madras to make me smile.

The party also served as a fundraiser, the Trust for the National Mall was the beneficiary, almost $5000 was raised for that very good cause.


Also today:

  • LL Bean’s new King of Prussia store opened last weekend, it is the venerable retailer’s 15th shop, located not too far from the Lilly KOP store.

Gene Walsh/Times Herald Staff

  • Marimekko, the Finnish design firm offering amazing textiles (and so much more), has opened its New York flagship.

T Magazine/The New York Times

  • While not a store opening, we have to applaud the folks at Hermès, for the ‘family reunion’ they hosted this week. Women’s Wear Daily reports the upscale firm closed all of its US stores Sunday, Monday & Tuesday so they could fly all 515 employees to a party and recognition ceremony, a very cool (and savvy) thing to do.


We close today with a look at some of the year’s more bizarre Halloween costumes. The initial idea came via a story in Guest of a Guest; it showcased the ‘Roadkill’ costume, noting that “We can all agree that being run over by a car and disemboweled is every kid’s dream.” The only thing we can offer is the thought “Especially because that’s how all mothers want to envision their child.”

Kids "Road Kill" costume from Halloween Costumes

From its description on the Halloween Costumes website:

“Scrape your child off the side of the road and turn him into real road kill with this funny costume!”

This one can be yours for $48.99.

Here’s one we discovered while idly wasting time when doing research for the post, the Baby Billion Dollar Costume. Originally I thought this was a commentary on the high cost of bringing up a child, until I read the description: “Now your toddler can get in on the family gangster action with this Billion Dollar baby costume!”

Via HalloweenCostumes.com

Fully acknowledging our terminally unhip life, is there something we have missed about “family gangster action”?

Finally, there is this: your infant as roast turkey.

Martha Stewart

More than ideal for inclusion in both our Help Me Understand and You Can’t Make This Stuff Up categories, we pondered the possibility this was what we used to call a ‘sight gag,’ perhaps someone having fun with Photoshop.  Wrong.


Very wrong.

Martha Stewart

Of course, if you prefer baking over roasting, there’s always this.

Martha Stewart

May your weekend be sunny and bright!


Filed under Help Me Understand, preppy, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Hermès & Cartier Do the Discount Dance Again


We have an interesting topic today, the appearance of very high-end luxury goods (yes, some things are more “luxurious” than others) on discount sites. Today’s Luxury Daily carries an interesting story about merchandise from Hermès, Cartier and Botkier being sold on discounter Bluefly’s site.

Below we see two Cartier scarves from Bluefly, “retail value $220, Bluefly price $154, you save 30%!”


Via Bluefly


This is not an entirely new phenomenon. In fact, a June 2009 post in this very space was titled “Tiffany & Cartier for Sale at…Bluefly?!” In most instances, these were limited-time and/or “invitation only’ events; the ad seen below is for one such promotion offering Cartier watches.  But from what we can gather, it seems this may become a standard practice moving forward.

Via Bluefly.com

Hermès has been offered previously at Bluefly, and just last week it was sold at Rue Lala.  Your trusty scribe finds the practice disconcerting, especially following month after month after month of record-breaking sales and profits for Hermès, landing this one in the “Help Me Understand” category.  Why do it? Are you introducing products to customers not previously exposed to the brand? If so, are they really customers you want to acquire?

Now, will you be able to purchase the custom scarf sold only at the remodeled flagship store on Bluefly (below)? Of course not.


But is this how Hermès wants its storied image to be marketed? From a Sale Bite post last week: “Hermés + Hanky Panky at Rue La La”:

Via SaleBite

From the story in Luxury Daily:

“… if consumers notice that a brand is lowering its standards so that more people can buy it, it could take away from the brand’s prestige.”

How would you prefer your image be perceived? Oozing the understated elegance and refined vision showcased in the Madison Avenue store?

Hermès Courtesy Image

Or as a bargain hawker at Bluefly?


The argument that prices for these goods are so high it can’t possibly hurt the brand are wrong.  From Rachel Lamb’s story:

““You can’t really go back to charging full price once you have a discount,” Ms. Ries said. “Sometimes, it’s as addictive for the company as much as for the consumer.”

Is this up there with discovering our Orrefors crystal or Movado watch at CostCo?  Hardly. It far transcends that little hissy fit disturbance, for we rank Cartier and Hermès in the upper tier of the luxury scale.  This seems like a bad idea all around.


One more tidbit today, also about a storied company, Haspel, the go-to brand for seersucker.

Haspel via Neiman Marcus

The Neiman Marcus blog recently had a story on the firm, and it makes for a good read, we liked this story about the founder demonstrating the value and wearability of the fabric:

“…wore his Haspel suit into the Atlantic Ocean during a trade show conference.  He then walked up onto the beach, took off his clothes (wearing his boxers, thank goodness), and hung up his suit to dry.  Later that evening, he took that same suit, put it on again, and wore it to the evening’s party.  Needless to say, he made his point.”

The other fascinating part of the post involved this:

Haspel via Neiman Marcus blog

We had nary a clue Haspel did madras. That is news we are happy to hear!

G’bye until next time. 🙂


Filed under Help Me Understand, Preppy Fashion, Sales & Savings