Rédacteur en Chef des titres en anglais, français et chinois.
Hermès Saint-Tropez got a new look; Hermès Marseille moved into a new address, and a new Hermès Shanghai will be inaugurated in September. Anne-Sarah Panhard, Managing Director of Hermès France tells The Provence Herald why and how such development has been brought about.
Why Hermès has recently transformed its two branches in Provence?
Our shop at the port of Saint-Tropez has been running for more than twelve years (2002), so it is time to redesign the space. RDAI, the architecture firm responsible for the layout of all our retail shops, transformed the ground floor into a large open space bathed in natural light. At the centre of the space is a long piece of furniture in light cherry wood where the women’s silk items are displayed. A lacquered wood panel conceals the staircase at the back of the shop, which leads to the even cosier first floor where the collections of bags and luggage, watches, jewellery, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and shoes are presented.
For our shop in Marseille, we decided to move into a larger area so that our clients can view our collections in a luminous space. The new address at rue Grignan is the ideal place because it has an open view and so it is perfect to put our magnificent window display on show. The world of home collection that we have developed since several years can be showcased in details on the ground floor, including furniture, lamps, art of living collection and table accessories. As in all our shops, we hope that the new setting created for presenting the Hermès crafts (equitation, leather, silk, fashion accessories, perfume, jewellery, watches, ready-to-wear and home) will attract our clients from Marseille and elsewhere.
Is this the result of a wider policy? Can we say the redesigned interior represents Hermès’ new image?
The renovations, expansion and moving of our shops are part of our business development in France and abroad. We redecorate our shops every ten years in average. If there is a place that suits our market development, we will of course choose to expand or even to move.
The architecture of the shops, conceptualised by RDAI, combines various elements such as mosaique, the Duke-carriage-with-horse logo that recalls the original shop at 24 rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, and contemporary, pure and elegant lines. Our architects attend to follow the Hermès codes, and at the same time get their inspiration from the cities where the shops are located.
Moreover, we wish to let in natural light into our shops. Brightness, a sense of cosiness brought by the cherry wood furniture and the staircase are important elements of our shops.
When will be the next opening(s) abroad?
We will inaugurate a new flagship shop in Shanghai in September 2014. It is in a classified historical building situated in the former French Concession. The flagship shop will include a retail space of 800 m2, an exhibition area and offices.
Hermès is internationally known for its luxury goods. What are its strengths in Haute Couture?
We do not do Haute Couture. We emphasize always that we fabricate high quality crafted goods. 85% of our products are made in France. The rest are made in other regions because these regions have the necessary expertise to fabricate them, such as watches in Switzerland and lacquer in Vietnam. Hermès crafts apply multiple expertise to achieve ambitious creations, and are driven by a constant innovative dynamic and the quest for excellence, and have enriched continuously our collections, accounting for more than 50,000 models.