Hermès: In the Defense of Craftmanship

HER_7139 @Benoit TeilletOne of the most enduring materials in the world of fashion manufacture is leather. The tanning of animal rawhides has served vestiary functions since the dawn of man, and has also become a degraded production technique in the age of mass-production. But luxury fashion has maintained an artisanal approach to this material and continue to prove its relevance in a sustainable fashion future. In this conversation, the French leather goods and fashion house Hermès is the ultimate ringleader, and yesterday, the family-owned business of a staggering 181 years announced a further commitment to artisanal leather production. Yesterday, their visionary new production facility was inaugurated in Allenjoie,  in the province of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in Eastern France. The facility will employ over 700 leather craftsmen in producing Hermès bespoke horse saddles, handbags, and leather accessories, many of whom will be directly sourced and trained in partnership with the local crafts school École Boudard, offering workers a diploma in fine leather production after completing a 15-month course. This training enables them to master the exceptional know-how necessary to craft a bag from start to finish, in accordance with the “one person, one bag” rule upheld by Hermès. “The opening of the Manufacture de l’Allan demonstrates our dedication to artisanal production and the creation of jobs in France,” states Axel Dumas, CEO of Hermès, and sixth generation member of the founding family. “It is revealing of the talent of our craftspeople, the appeal of ourhigh-quality know-how and the creative success of our leather goods collections.”

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For more information, see Hermès