Hermès to offer full range of furniture and housewares at new Toronto flagship

The house of this Hermès Maison collections is located in Pantin, a working-class suburb northeast of Paris which has become increasingly populated by creative industries. Located only blocks from where the Hermès leather atelier was established since 1992, the airy showroom looks out on low-rise buildings in stone and brick which are definitely not in the Haussmann style. The distance rather conjures the feeling of an upscale loft somewhere further afield — East London, Brooklyn, or just a neighbourhood in Montreal. It makes for a compelling setup for the designers and decorators who visit the showroom to see how such apparently rarefied furniture, accessories and objets d’art can exist in everydaynbsp;lifetime.

Upon arrival, my raincoat is put on a reissue of Paul Dupré-Lafon’s Valet p Nuit, a recognizably handsome vertical hanging system from the 1940s. When tea is supplied, the lacquer serving tray it arrives on is placed atop one of a bunch of Satellite tables, their marble and onyx patterning resembling planets or moons. The teapot and cups keep an Hermès motif subtle enough to love with eachnbsp;sip.

I’m meeting Hélène Dubrule, the managing director of Hermès Maison and President of Puiforcat, the silver and fine flatware business that’s run by the luxury goods manufacturer. She shows me round the space before we settle in the Sellier sofa with its cane display sides, cinnamon-hued leather armrests, and toile cushions. Inconspicuously luxe, it had been conceived by acclaimed Parisian designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance and introduced at Salone del Mobile in Milan lastnbsp;year.

That worldwide furniture fair is now as important a date on the Hermès Maison calendar as Paris Fashion Week is for the home’s ready-to-wear collections, an event to present increased notion furniture layouts (the core fabrics and artwork de la table bits usually roll out once or twice a year with less fanfare). In the most recent honest, Hermès introduced a compact vanity tucked into a huge cabinet stacked with shelves for storing silk scarves, in addition to beautifully honed light pine stools and seats by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Alvaro Siza. Also on display were accessories accented with leather harness particulars such as the standout Groom Attelé, an intricate hanging design developed in collaboration with Guillaume Delvigne and Damian O’Sullivan.

If you are wondering whether one of these pieces will be available when Hermès opens its new Toronto flagship on Nov. 29, the answer is yes — and regardless of what you don’t see in store could be arranged. The brand has upwards of 300 shops around the world and in every clients will get some representation of homeware, whether the signature throw blankets or a leather change tray. The new Toronto maison — the greatest Hermès shop in Canada — will be one of the approximately 40 locations that provide a more substantial selection ofnbsp;furniture.

Customers who ascend the striking coiled staircase will find the timeless parchment nesting tables by Jean-Michel Frank reissued in the 1920s, in addition to the curvy Pippa folding seat, a mainstay piece imputed to architect Rena Dumas with Peter Coles. Rena Dumas was the wife of the late CEO, Jean-Louis Dumas, a fifth-generation relative and before her death in 2009, she oversaw the design of Hermès stores. Their son, Pierre-Alexis Dumas has been the home’s artistic director since 2011. In 2014, to improve and fuel his vision of artwork du vivre (the art of living), he brought on Charlotte Macaux Perelman (an architect who worked for Philippe Starck, David Rockwell and André Balazs before starting her own company, Studio CMP), and Alexis Fabry (an art book editor and curator specializing in photography) as deputy artistic directors for the Hermès house world, as it’s called. And really, the group is as expansive as it seems, as beyond the obvious items, there are of the sudden, almost anachronistic ones: a perpetual calendar; a magnifying glass tottering upon a leather cone; a leather icosahedron (a thing with 20 triangular sides); spinningnbsp;shirts.

Hermès has ever been more than a home of objects, it is a house for a means of life — and I believe Maison is your métier which embodies those values in their best,” states Dubrule, who worked in both the corporation’s fragrance and silk branches prior to assuming the Maison role in 2009. As she explains it, these apparently non-essential things have more essential resonance than ever. “Our lives are becoming more and more insignificant; there is a vanishing of things. You’ll require some objects which will be successful [not because] they’re useful but symbolic. I believe we will need to surround ourselves with some beauty,” she says, noting how these items provide a counterbalance to counter technology with substance, or as she proclaims most dramatically: “Hermès brings warmth at a really coldnbsp;world{}”

Incidentally, the blankets — or les plaids — may fulfill this demand literally, particularly the heavy wool, monogrammed ones created in Scotland which appear to be ever-present in shelter magazine photographs. In the showroom, Dubrule invited me to touch a much more delicate style that was hand-spun and hand-woven in Nepal; then she unfolded one which utilized ikat dying to attain a nuanced H; and ultimately, she disclosed that the pièce p resistance which boasted an illustration by artist Nigel Peake hand-embroidered with little pearlescent seednbsp;beads.

The assortment of options indicates why the blankets and other tiny accessories represent five to seven percent of earnings in the Toronto store. In the coming flagship, however, customers will also, for the first time, be able to purchase wallpapers and fabrics, extending an identifiable Hermès presence during their homes. Jennifer Carter, president of Hermès Canada, states that the wider offering will allow individuals to completely visualize “a feeling and an atmosphere{}” While the pieces on display will be readily purchasable as a jar of cologne, she notes that the shop will also have the ability to facilitate bespoke requests that vary from the Cabriolet armchair in a custom color (expect to wait approximately eight weeks for your model to arrive), to extraordinarily special orders throughout the Horizons section (think leather upholstery for helicopters and made-to-measure skateboards). In her head, the space allocated to the house métier will underscore the playfulness and elegance in equal measure. “With the furniture, you really can see the cleaner, practical side of Hermès,” she says.

“It is luxurious without being ostentatious — and it can go withnbsp;anything{}”

Which is exactly what Dubrule suggests has been the ambition of Maison all along, from the Frank pieces that marked Hermès‘ foray into furniture in 1924 (Cole Porter and Nelson Rockefeller were one of the French interior designer’s customers) into the bronze table lately accomplished by Barber amp; Osgerby, its minimalist, hardly glazed surface representing the epitome of pure design. She notes how the studio favours collaborating with architects since, unlike the normal style mindset, they “have a view of the longnbsp;term.”

Looking round the showroom, focusing on a lamp, then a magazine stand, then the table set with Carnet d’Équateur china animated by the flora and fauna of artist Robert Dallet, it was remarkably clear how the pieces attached through their varying expressions of rigorous craftsmanship and design. Dubrule attributes this to feeling the “gesture of the person behind the item” within the layout itself. The point, she says, is that the bits are ever-changing yet timeless. “It’s the notion of harmonious eclecticism,” she offers. “Sometimes the object is useful; sometimes it is just for dreaming.” And oftentimes, it is an expression ofnbsp;equally.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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