Since its humble beginnings as a saddle-maker in 1837, Hermès has been synonymous with leather. Celebrating its 175th year, the august French house pays homage to the proud, patrician material in the exhibit Leather Forever, on display at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
Spanning twelve rooms, the show takes the visitor on a tactile journey through the fated pairing, showcasing notable pieces from Hermès’ past and present. These include pieces commissioned by the Duke of Windsor for Wallis Simpson, as well as some of the label’s later icons, for example the Kelly, named after Princess Grace, and the Birkin, inspired by Jane Birkin. Craftspeople from the Hermès workshops in Paris will also be on hand to demonstrate the art of leather-working.
Leather Forever, May 9 – 27, Royal Academy of Arts. A small collection of Great Britain-inspired Hermès bags will be auctioned off online by Christie’s from May 16 – 31.