Hermes

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Designer Bio

The legendary French luxury goods house began as a harness workshop in Paris in 1837. By the twenties, Hermès had the patent for the zipper in France, and introduced the first ladies’ bags with zip closures, and in 1937, the first Hermès silk scarves were born (today, a scarf is allegedly sold every twenty seconds). The company expanded into riding gloves, belts, and men’s and women's sportswear, and designed the now-famous travel trunks to meet the needs of the new automobile drivers. The Kelly bag debuted in 1956 after Grace Kelly used a large crocodile handbag to hide her pregnancy. In the seventies, the first women's shoe collection and the first complete men's ready-to-wear collection were introduced. Actress Jane Birkin replaced her old straw purse with a leather Hermès number in 1984, and started the rage that is the Birkin bag. Today the Birkin continues to have the longest waiting list of any luxury accessory—about six years. Hermès also has a complete home line, bed and bath linens, furniture, silverware, crystal and porcelain, office accessories, and baby gifts. In 2003, following Martin Margiela, Jean-Paul Gaultier joined the house as women's ready-to-wear designer, debuting on the runway for fall/winter 2004–2005. Gaultier put a high-fashion spin on the label’s equestrian roots, with super-luxurious sheared mink jackets, velvet jodhpurs, and fringed blanket jackets. In June 2004, perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena took a post as the in-house perfumer and launched several scents that have amassed cultish popularity. [READ MORE]

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