On the move: Hermès and the history of motion

An ongoing exhibition exemplifies the heritage and whimsy of the French luxury brand
Curated By: Monica Bathija
Published: Nov 15, 2022

Image by : Fabien Charuau / Hermès

  • On the move: Hermès and the history of motion
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Picnic cane with mechanism, early 20th century
Emile Hermes collected canes in many variations and had a penchant for ‘secret’ or ‘gadget’ models. This model allows the walker to carry the tools required for a picnic. The handle has a trompe l’oeil effect, concealing a set of cutlery. 

Bolide Picnic bag, spring-summer 2016, wicker and Barénia calfskin. Contemporary collection
Combining basketwork with leather this Bolide Picnic pays tribute to the traditional baskets associated with countryside jaunts. Originally named Sac pour l’auto (bag for automobiles), the Bolide bag is a perfect example of the brand’s responsiveness to changing times (from horse carriages to cars) and the changing needs of customers. The bag appeared at the same time as the motor car and is one of the first travel bags that Émile Hermès fitted with a zip fastening, expressing the motorist’s desire for speed.

(The Hermes Heritage–In Motion exhibition is on till November 20 at the IFBE Gallery at Ballard Estate, from 11 am to 7 pm daily. Admission is free)