How Hermès turned a dog collar into a bag | ET REALITY


In 1821, a 20-year-old innkeeper’s son named Thierry Hermès, who grew up in the German textile town of Krefeld, moved to the French region of Normandy and worked as an apprentice saddler. Eleven years later he opened his own workshop in Paris, where he sold harnesses, bridles and saddles made with a stitch that can only be done by hand. After the arrival of the automobile, Thierry’s grandson, Émile-Maurice Hermès, expanded the company’s offering to include driving accessories and luggage trunks, as well as watches and wristwatches with leather cases and straps. In 1923, the house even introduced a collection of dog collars, which were carefully decorated with leather studs, metal rings and fringed trimmings. They became so popular that women began wearing them as belts; As the story goes, French couturier Marie Callot Gerber, whose dogs wore the collars, commissioned Hermès to reinterpret them as wristbands.

Now, Hermès is remembering those archival necklaces with the launch of its new Mini Médor Crin bag. Snug like a sheaf of wheat, the bag features layers of blonde horsehair molded by a master hairdresser, while palladium-finished metal cabochons accent its calfskin belt. (It also comes in a black version with gold pyramid studs.) With its practical leather strap and fringe trim reminiscent of a flapper’s dress, the tote bag encapsulates the roaring twenties while paying homage to the brand’s equestrian roots: after all, as the company has made. As he pointed out, his first client was a horse.

Photography Assistant: Christopher Thomas Linn

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