Luxury French label Hermès is set to host a new exhibition in London, entitled Leather Forever, as part of its 175th anniversary. The exhibition celebrates the label’s relationship with leather, and will feature items from the brand’s archive as well as pieces commissioned by the Duke of Windsor for Wallis Simpson, and some of its latest creations.
Leather Forever, will take place at 6 Burlington Gardens and will trace Hermès’ history - from 19th Century saddle and harness-maker, to one of the most famous handbag brands of the 21st Century, and will also include the brand's artisans, who will create the iconic bags in front of visitors.
In addition, the label has created four one-off versions of its Passe-Guide handbags that have been designed to represent England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, which will be auctioned by Christies online, with all proceeds donated to the Royal Academy of Arts.
The English bag has been inspired by the bearskin hats that the Queen’s Guards wear, and is fashioned by red box calfskin, and features silver fittings and a black fur charm. The Scottish bag is done in an orange tartan created by the weavers Johnstons of Elgin and comes with a jumbo kilt pin accessory, while the Irish bag is in a vivid green crocodile skin with a four-leaf clover charm, and the Welsh dark green design features a dragon embossed on its front with an accompanying charm.
Hermès was established by Thierry Hermès in Paris in 1837, as a house of harness-making and later saddle-making. Today the brand offers everything from womenswear and menswear to bags, jewellery and fragrances.
The free exhibition will run from May 8 to 27, and the online auction will take place through Christie’s auction site from May 14 to 31.