The wonder and innovation of French heritage brand Hermès never ceases to amaze us. The latest project from the purveyors of some of the most iconic items in the world of accessories is called ‘Petit h’ (pronounced ‘ash en francais, of course). Launching in London as an exhibition as well as a retail collection, the aim of ‘Petit h’ is to employ the deft skills and magic hands of their craftsman to reinvent and re-create new products out of the remnants of others. ‘We wanted to give new life to discarded materials and so to reinvent a material, a form, a usage. With this collection of unusual objects, either unique or in limited edition, a team of designers and artisans, the guardians of Hermès who preserve the subtle alchemy between each of the House’s métiers through their spirit, their creativity and their savoir-faire, has taken an imaginative look,’ says Artistic Director, Pascale Mussard.
The inspiration comes directly from Pascale, who is a sixth generation member of the Hermès family and has been nicknamed since childhood as Don’t-Throw-It-Out-It-Might-Be-Useful. ‘I invite designers and artists into the Petit h workshops that we call our Ali Baba cavern, where all the different materials rejected by Hermès are gathered like acorns,’ says Pascale of the organic process, ‘These collaborators have free rein to explore and create. Rebirth and up-cycling is the underlying approach – I love to re-create, re-invent and re-enchant.’
So via a handpicked selection of artists and artisans a unique and exclusive range of products have been created for the store on Regent Street – like kooky torques fashioned out of silk scarf off-cuts or a tea pot that’s been offered a second life as a phone. With interior designer Faye Toogood behind the striking store fit and with a limited amount of availability over the next month it’s a get-or-regret once in a lifetime opportunity.