It seems that European luxury fashion brands are all about good ‘ole Texas these days. Chanel brought its annual fashion show, Métiers d’Art, to Dallas this past December, a large-scale event that has previously been held in locations including a castle in Scotland and a barge in Shanghai. An international jet set crowd of 900 descended on the city to view the collection inspired by “the West of the Mexican border in the time of the Civil War, a more romantic Texas fantasy,” Karl Lagerfeld told the New York Times.
And last month, the Paris-based Hermès released a limited edition set of scarves designed by Waco, Texas-based painter Kermit Oliver. Oliver worked the night shift at the local post office for 29 years before he sent one of his naturalistic paintings to the Hermès headquarters in 1984 (more on the artist’s background here). At the time, Jean-Louis Dumas of Hermès reached out to his friend Lawrence Marcus (as in Neiman Marcus) to recommend an artist who could capture the spirit of the Southwest. Oliver was at the top of his list, and Dumas agreed, collaborating with the artist on a print featuring a turkey. The current edition, La Vie sauvage du Texas, is the 17th in the now historied series, and celebrates the state’s wildlife.
The design was produced in four colors in an edition of 2,000 each, and is available now in Hermès Dallas and Houston stores. The rest of us non-Texans can snatch one up when they become available nationwide this coming fall–that is, of course, if they don’t sell out per usual to the brand and artist’s Texan fans. As a nod to the inspiration behind the print, portion of scarf sales benefits the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute.
This past weekend, luxury fashion brand Hermès threw a private party at the Moore Building in Miami’s Design District to fete the intersections of the house’s men’s and lifestyle lines, architecture, and art. “A Man’s World Miami”—the four-hour event hosted twice prior in Beijing and Paris—was the result of a collaboration between Hermès’s menswear director Véronique Nichanian and Argentine artist Leandro Erlich. Guests strolled down mirrored hallways and were asked to look down in order to see the artwork above their heads by Erlich, dubbed “Dream Climbers” based on the atrium of models in colorful attire (colorful Hermès attire, that is) perched on the rafters overhead.
In another room at the event, attendees found themselves within a vaulted alcove featuring a permanent installation by Zaha Hadid entitled “Elastika.” Within the room were elevator doors that would open and close, each time revealing something different from the Hermès mens lifestyle line and models in the brand’s most tailored looks, reminding guests why they were invited in the first place.
Additional rooms featured much of the same: 11 installations in total spanning three floors, in some way incorporating the brand’s men’s products, from clothing to shoes, watches, jewelry, and fragrances. Several of the installations were digitally interactive and illusionary. The goal was to showcase the universality of the brand’s offerings while simultaneously entertaining VIP clients with a unique experience.
How do you make chic even more chic? By combining two incredibly luxe brands, of course. A rather unlikely couple—classic French brand Hermès and the avante-garde Japanese brand Comme des Garçons, helmed by Rei Kawakubo—have collaborated to design two limited edition scarf collections, as a whole referred to as “Comme des Carrés.”
The first collection, “Noir et Blanc,” arrived earlier this month in Comme des Garçons shops in Paris, New York, and Tokyo and includes five different designs. The “Couleur” collection is currently sold at Dover Street Market concept stores in London and Tokyo, and features six various creations priced significantly higher than their black-and-white counterparts.
Despite the dissimilar brand aesthetics, the designs perfectly balance each label’s respective characteristics—the polka-dots and patchwork of Kawakubo blend elegantly with Hermès’ traditional equestrianism. You can view all the designs on the Hermès pinterest page, or browse a few looks from the selection below.
“Coaching,” from the Colour collection
“Couvertures et tenues de jour,” from the Coulour collection
In the latest edition of Hermès Editeur, the luxury brand has teamed up with Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. The mission of Hermès Editeur, according to the brand’s website, is to bridge the art of craftsmanship and design with contemporary art. Artists provide the brand a source of invention, inspiration and innovation, and the projects “confront our craftsmen with real challenges, at first glance insurmountable but overcoming them enables us to extend the limits of our savoir-faire,” according to Artistic Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas. Previous editions of Hermès Editeur included collaborations with German artist Josef Albers and Contemporary artist Daniel Buren.
The Sugimoto collection includes iterations of 20 of the artist’s abstract color studies on Hermès’ signature silk scarves. Produced in limited editions of seven each, the complete collection is being called “Couleurs de L’Ombre” (Colors of Shadow). The artist’s project of the same title was created after years of chasing bands of prismatic color around his studio and capturing them using the almost extinct Polaroid canvas. Inspired by this vision, the brand developed new inkjet technology in order to recreate the subtle gradations of intense color. At nearly $10,000 a piece, the real question becomes whether these scarves should be worn or mounted and framed on the wall.
Sugimoto holding up a scarf from the collection
The artist examining designs over the course of the project (image via Hermes website)