Hermes Festival Des Metiers: Un fete for fashion

Silk engraver at work (SOURCE: Amy Leong/ Jibsheet)
Silk engraver at work (SOURCE: Amy Leong/ Jibsheet)

Over the roadways and through the connector one goes to undergo a fashion experience unmatched by anything before.

For one week only The Braven is hosting the “Festival Des Metiers” (festival of crafts), an exhibit that showcases the jobs that require hands not brains. The artisans behind the notorious Birkin bag, the eloquent silk scarves, and the several other timeless pieces that are all carry one essence.Hermes.

Hermes is a brand that stems from creativity which sparked its current theme, the artisans.

Going through the workshop was much like a child’s first trip to Disneyland to the fashionista.

The crowds eyes light up as silk printers Kamel Hamadou and Henri Lely took us through the metamorphosis of a scarf.

We each witnessed the magic of a simple sheet of silk becoming a canvas covered in ten layers of color, and design within minutes (of course the actual process would take much more time, but for demonstration sake the audience became mesmerized by the process).

As a society we are used to mass production. We are used to machines making identical garments with no stories behind them.

Yet, Hermes defies those odds. They use the foundation from techniques made in the 1900’s to create one word. Quality.

Although the festival has scarves, ties, watches, as well as the signature Hermes saddle on display the real treasure is seeing the craftsmen and women at work.

The chain of workers that have helped Hermes reach its celebrity.

The weavers, printers, and engravers that put passion into each product with only one mission. To make the best product possible. To make perfection.

Hermes signature scarves (SOURCE: Amy Leong/The Jibsheet)
Hermes signature scarves (SOURCE: Amy Leong/The Jibsheet)

The scarves take two years to make, but Hermes CEO Robert Chavez says, “We don’t rush anything.” Hermes has a “committment to quality and to craftmanship.”

The craft has become their lifestyles. The silk printers have been a part of the brand for 20 plus years. Much like the silk engraver, Nadine Rabilloud, who has been working for 30 plus years.

Their dedication and love for the company is shown with each garment they create. They embody all that is Hermes, and this festival emphasizes that.

Silk printer Hamadou says, “Hermes is a house that houses the 9000 plus workers that are its children.”

Visiting the exhibit will give you a new found appreciation for the arts as a whole, and differently gives you an impression of the brand Hermes as it strives to create the best products for its customers and fulfill its legacy.

For any students pursing the field of fashion takes Chavez’s words to heart, “follow your dreams, and don’t be afraid to start anywhere.”

Visit The Braven from Feb 23- Feb 28 to have a first hand experience. The festivals next stops are Chicago, and Washington D.C. before going oversees to Europe and Asia.