First Look: Hermès gives new life to discarded materials with Petit h

When we mention the brand name “Hermès,” what’s the first thing you think of? For many the Birkin comes to mind, while for others, their minds move towards luxurious silk scarves or luscious leather saddles. Hermès is in fact a brand that works its way into every nook and cranny of a luxury lifestyle. It seems they always have and we have no doubt they always will. However, we’re not writing today to tell you about a classic Hermès tale. Instead, we’re pointing you towards a whole new direction for the brand, one that even has its own branding. This past Monday we visited Paris to be one of the first to tour the atelier behind the new innovative division of Hermès named Petit h. We spent a good amount of time touring the atelier itself, looking at rooms filled with Hermès reasures, that ranged from broken plates to golden stirrups or buttons to complete Birkins that had been taken off the shelf because of the tiniest flaw. These were all the items that would have been otherwise destroyed if it wasn’t for one woman- Pascale Mussard, a sixth generation member of the Hermès family. Now, each item has a new lease on life with Petit h artisans using the discarded articles to create new products ranging from tables to leather postcards.

For us, Petit h came alive after meeting Pascale Mussard and hearing her speak about her own history with Hermès and the way in which Petit h came to exist today. So often in fashion you meet people who have been hollowed by the industry. Their passion has long ago faded away and they exist as machines in creating fashion for the masses. In Pascale, we were reintroduced to the concept of being head over heels in love with what you do. From our first hello, we could feel her enthusiasm for Petit h and her desire to convey its importance. By the end of an hour long chat, we wanted to hand over FFG and request a spot on the Hermès Petit h team. When asked about how the idea for Petit h came about, Pascale spoke of her days at Hermès picking up the discarded pieces of leather and recycling them to beautifully wrap presents at Christmas. She spoke of saving absolutely everything and even admitted to being a hoarder of sorts. In fact, if it wasn’t for her, most of the Hermès archive would not exist today. She insisted on saving everything, knowing one day it would be in demand as a part of the company’s history.

Perhaps the most poignant part of our interview was hearing Pascale talk about knowing when you’ve discovered your calling in life. Her life’s work has been with Hermès  however it wasn’t until 2010 that she started Petit h and finally feels as if she is doing what she was always meant to do. One look around at the team of talent that surrounds Pascale Mussard and you understand quickly that the feeling runs unrestrained throughout.

Now onto why all of this is applicable here and now. Petit h is actually coming to London to take over the Hermès flagship store. From Wednesday, 20 November 2013, Petit h will descend on Hermès Bond Street store to showcase some of the latest creations from the atelier. We don’t want to ruin the surprise for you, so have featured only a handful of teasers herewith. Imagine reinvented broken teacups (like the one Pascale Mussard is wearing around her neck in the picture below) and bags recreated with the help of Hermès magicians. What you will discover will have you testing the limits of your own imagination.While every single piece is for sale, I would encourage you to visit regardless of your financial situation. And while we’re on that topic, you may think that Hermès “art” would cost the world and then some, when there are actually surprising entry level items to purchase. So take a step into the world created by the beautiful Pascale Mussard and you may find yourself walking out with an original Petit h Hermècreation. If you do, we want to know about it! 

For more information, visit the Petit h website.  But for now, here’s your first look at the master behind Petit h, the tools of the trade and a sneak peek at some goodies to come…


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