7 February 2024
Priscila Alexandre Spring, creative director of leather goods at Hermès, opens the doors of the maison’s atelier in Pantin, near Paris, on the occasion of an interview for Vogue. An exclusive journey that starts from the sketch, and which focuses on the prototyping of bags like the Kelly, up to the choice of metals to be inserted as buckles. All told by artisans who have worked for the French brand for years and who constantly train.
How Hermès leather goods were born
The path follows a series of ritual stages. We start from the offices where sketches of new models are created and the historical ones are reviewed. We get to the production of prototypes in small paper maquettes and special pieces made of leather, which allows designers to experiment with the positioning of pockets or buckles. The greatest attention is given, however, to the artisans, who build the bags entirely by hand, sewing together the pieces of leather and studying the way in which the metal closures will be attached to the bag. Report by La Conceria.
Pay attention to even the slightest noise
Alexandre Spring specifies that Hermès even studies noise, relating to the metallic clink of brass pieces banging against each other. Study is essential to understand the sound that metals produce, because it is the details that make the difference in a luxury bag. Like the seams, which are performed with the saddle stitch made using two crossed needles.
Together with Vogue, we discover how Hermès leather goods are born together with Vogue, we discover how Hermès leather goods are born.
What is striking, however, is the necessary training needed before being able to work on some products. 4 years of apprenticeship are required before working on a Kelly, which requires 13 hours of work to complete. A timing which, however, varies depending on the materials.
Spearhead of Hermès, it was designed in 1837, the year the maison was founded. The bag was designed as a saddle holder for riders during hunting trips. A first revisitation took place in 1930, when its size was significantly reduced and the trapezoidal shape was given – which made it the female accessory par excellence. However, the real consecration came in 1956, thanks to Grace Kelly. A story, therefore, that has lasted for almost two centuries and is renewed every day. Because Hermès bags are designed “to be long-lasting and to be repaired,” Spring underlines. Which is the true concept of sustainability.