Thierry Hermes started his business 180 years ago by manufacturing harnesses
French fashion brand Hermes has a place in the first row of the world’s most popular brands. Experts in the fashion industry regard it as one of the most successful examples of family businesses. How does a luxury production company with a history of more than 190 years maintain its tradition?
The history of Hermès began in 1837, when Thierry Hermes (Thierry Hermes) established a workshop in Paris to produce horse bri ropes and saddles. His mother is German and his father is French. Soon after, the workshop also began producing ammunition for riders, and then clothing and accessories for golf. Thierry Hermes was able to make an outstanding saddle stitch, which was later appreciated and recognized by the European royal family. His clients include fashionable Parisian elites and European royalty, including Napoleon III and his Empress Eugenie.
Ermes decided to retire in 1880 and handed over the shares of the to his son Charles-Emile. Under the leadership of the son, the company began to develop retail and supply abroad Product. Hermes products began to be sold in North Africa, Russia, Asia and the Americas.
The first Hermès bag was released in 1900, with the purpose of allowing riders to carry saddles with them. After Charles Hermes retired, his children Adolphe and Emile-Maurice took over the company and named it Hermes Freres. Emil is the youngest, most charming and adventurous person among the sons of Charles Hermes.
He is also an avid traveler. It can be said that his trip is of an informal business nature-he is looking for new markets and at the same time looking for suppliers of high-quality raw materials. The descendants of Ermes found that crocodile skin is best harvested in Australia, crocodile skin in Florida, buffalo skin in West Bengal, shark skin in Siam, and lizard skin in Malaysia.
In Canada, Emil purchased equipment in 1918, which attracted attention to the weird zipper and immediately realized that joining two pieces of leather could not be more convenient. It is true that there is no lightning in the harness, but what Hermès is least worried about is that because the automobile age is approaching, the luxurious saddle now only needs to be a peculiar thing. Emil bought the right to use the zipper from a Swedish inventor, and these patents are called Ermes zipper.
In 1918, Hermes introduced the first zippered leather golf jacket designed for Edward, Prince of Wales. Throughout the 1920s, Hermes Freres expanded its line of clothing and accessories. The company displayed a series of women’s leather bags. After Emil Ermes’s wife complained to her husband that she could not find a handbag that suits her, she made a contribution. In order to please the one he loved, the businessman gave instructions and created one.
The company opened a representative office in the United States in 1924 and, without delay, opened its first store outside of Paris. But in 1929, Hermes launched the first women’s haute couture series in the French capital.
Since the mid-1930s, Hermès has signed a contract with the Swiss watchmaker Universal Geneve and launched the Art Deco series of men’s wrist chronographs and women’s watches. The dials of both models are engraved with the words Hermes or Hermes Universal Geneve. The cooperation with Universal Company continued until the 1950s.
In 1938, the classic Ermes collection included Chaine d’ancre bracelets as well as jackets and riding clothes. At this point, the company’s designers began to draw inspiration from paintings, books and art.
Ten years later, the company presented its first perfume Eau d’Hermes and a silk tie to the public.
In 1951, Emile Hermes died, and Robert Dumas-Hermes took over as the head of the fashion company.
By the way, in the early 1950s, Hermes began to use its carriage and carriage logos and orange boxes with trademarks.
In 1956, Life magazine published a photo of Grace Kelly, the new princess of Monaco, with a Sac a Depeches handbag. It is said that she hid it in front of her to hide the pregnancy. Subsequently, these handbags were named in memory of the Queen-Under-Kelly handbags.
In 1961, Hermes incorporated the perfume business into a separate subsidiary. Despite the obvious success in the 1970s and the opening of many stores worldwide, this confirmed that the company’s sales began to decline. This is because, compared with other companies that increasingly use man-made materials, Hermès continues to use only natural materials in its products.
Jean-Louis Dumas, son of Robert Dumas-Hermes, took over as CEO in 1978, focusing on silk, leather and ready-to-wear. He introduced new designers to update the product line, such as python leather motorcycle jacket and ostrich leather pants.
In addition, Jean-Louis decided to open a watch company, so in the 1970s, La Montre Hermes appeared in Bienne, Switzerland. In the 1980s, Hermes acquired a large number of shares in famous French glass and silverware companies, including Puiforcat in St. Louis. Louis and Périgord.
Cooking utensils also became an important business line of Hermes in the 1980s.
Hermès’ production expanded to 30,000 pieces in 1990. The brand’s annual sales are 460 million U.S. dollars.
In the early 1990s, Hermes moved its studio and design studio to Pantin near Paris. In June 1993, the company went public and its shares were listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. At this time, the Hermès family still owns 80% of Hermès, and Jean-Louis Dumas and the entire family are included in the “Forbes” list of billionaires.
In the next few years, Jean-Louis Dumas (Jean-Louis Dumas) reduced the number of franchise stores from 250 to 200, in order to better control sales, and the number of stores owned by the company from 60 The number of homes increased to 100. The cost of the plan is approximately 200 million Swiss francs. In the short term, the franc will increase profits in the long run. Hermes entered the Chinese market with an investment of about 500 million francs and opened its first store in Beijing in 1996.
By the early 2000s, Hermes continued to actively reduce the number of franchise stores, purchased them and opened new boutiques operated by the company. After 28 years as the head of a fashion company, Jean-Louis Dumas retired in January 2006. He died in 2010 after a long illness.
He was succeeded by Patrick Thomas, who joined the company in 1989 and has been co-CEO with Jean-Louis since 2005. He became the first leader of Hermes, and the dynasty was not a member of that dynasty.
In 2012, the brand’s policy on returns and exchanges changed. Consumers can change their purchase methods within 10 days and only within the color scheme of the purchased product. In February 2015, Hermes announced that its turnover increased by 9.7%, reaching more than 4 billion euros.
Three years later, the company opened its largest multi-storey store in Dubai Mall in the Middle East. In 2019, the brand was ranked 33rd in the “Forbes” list of the world’s most valuable brands.