Hermes moves into “bespoke” items… like fishing sets!
Hermes, a longstanding member of luxury’s upper echelon of brands, is focussing increasingly on “bespoke” items – limited editions that cater specifically to personalised tastes. A great example of this strategy is the company’s new fishing set, which includes a fishing rod, flies, and a wicker “creel” basket, and comes with a price tag of £17,000. The group’s “bespoke projects” arm is a natural fit for a brand that is renowned for its master craftsmanship and personalisation.
Hermes’ share price has risen by 32% so far this year
Source: Yahoo Finance
Hermes’ director of design and engineering, Axel de Beaufort, described the project’s origin: “The objects centred around fishing were thought up following a special orders competition sent to stores around the world entitled ‘Mon reve Hermes’ – my Hermes dream. A store in Japan asked us to come up with a fishing set. It was fun for us to work on these kinds of objects because, obviously, at Hermes our trade isn’t exactly geared to designing fishing equipment.”
De Beaufort continued to explain how external experts were leveraged to provide knowledge and inspiration: “In this instance we had to find a partner who makes rods and another that makes creels, and we had to figure out how to design the flies. All of that inspired us a lot.”
Whether or not anyone actually uses the fishing set is another question. De Beaufort considers that they will probably end up being showpieces rather than functional fishing sets – but it was important to Hermes that they were authentic. He said: “Even if, in the end, I think the bags we created will serve a different purpose, they were designed to be used for fishing, with the right materials. We noticed, especially when creating the flies, that there was real craftsmanship at work – very artisanal, very precise, very similar to our approach.”
“Seeing these people make flies reminded me a lot of our artisans and sadlers who are meticulous, who are exacting. There were echoes, definitely. That’s why, in the end, we managed to create a different universe in our own spirit.”
Dominion holds Hermes International in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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