This heritage luxury label was founded by Thierry Hermès in Paris in 1837 and has its origins as a harness and saddle workshop in a neighbourhood of Paris. This exhibition unabashedly celebrates not only Hermès’ relationship with leather, the first material tamed by the house, but also celebrates the six generations of enterprising artisans who have learned and passed on the values of craftsmanship and creativity that have nurtured the house for over 170 years.
At Hermès, leather has always been more than a material. It is a world, a language that speaks to and inspires the five senses. And to relate and share this passion, the house has conceived Leather Forever, a travelling exhibition that is now calling in at ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The poetic and informative exhibition takes visitors on a poetic journey exploring Hermès’ love of this fine material, presenting items from Hermès’ past as well as some of its latest creations. Focusing on the house’s rich tradition, from the very first saddle accessories created by Thierry Hermès back in 1837 to the iconic Arceau watches and the legendary Kelly or Birkin bags, you’ll be able to chart the storied history of the brand over the years. For those who are curious, “Leather Forever” also explores how orange became the house’s signature colour – an ode to the natural shade of leather.
The exhibition also casts a light on every step of the manufacturing process, and showcases the incredible know-how of the brand’s artisans, from the driers and cutters to the tanners and finishers. Craftsmen from the Hermès workshops in Paris will also be present to demonstrate the art of leather working by creating some of its iconic bags on site. In fact, to celebrate the exhibition, Hermès has created five Kellydoll bags in honour of each decade of Singapore’s independence.
According to Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Artistic Director, Hermès, “This is a very exciting moment for Hermès in Singapore. With this ambitious project, visitors will simultaneously have the chance to discover the rich and poetic expression of Hermès’ core métier with Leather Forever and for the first time, in Little Room of Wanders, to peruse some of the treasures assembled by my great grandfather Émile Hermès in his long life of collecting, shown alongside a number of original sketches by my uncle Philippe Dumas. These two unique museums will offer the perfect Hermès flânerie for the eye and the mind. I am happy and proud, in the name of Hermès, to share it with Singapore.”
LEATHER FOREVER, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands
October 25th to December 13th, 2015; Open daily, 10 am to 7 pm and from 10 am to 9 pm on Fridays; Admission free; lfe.hermes.com