Hermès - Footsteps across the world at San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

Click the link for more photos.  Photography by Drew Altizer

Click the link for more photos. Photography by Drew Altizer

Hermes and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art gathered last night for private screening of Footsteps Across the World, directed by Frédéric Laffont.

Hermès endeavours to create objects that withstand the test of time and to forge lasting connections with the surrounding world. Film and documentary maker Frédéric Laffont, winner of the Albert Londres award, brings his humanistic perspective to bear as he walks in the house’s footsteps and gives free rein to his camera.
With curiosity awakened, we navigate between stories and portraits, carried along by gestures and places, and taking discovery to the ends of the earth…
Our relationship with sustainable development shines through this Footsteps across the World collection.

Simon Collins the founder of Fashion Culture Design and the ex-dean of the Fashion School at Parson's New School for Design held question and answer session with director Frédéric Laffont and Hermes’s Vice President Olivier Pechou.

London, United-Kingdom

Hermès collaborates with artists, such as the English illustrator Alice Shirley, to interpret and pay tribute to the beauty and wealth of the planet via motifs and prints.

Paris, France

Drawings on the wall, prototypes, trials… On the fifth floor of 24 Faubourg, Laurent Goblet’s workshop, a saddle-maker at Hermès for forty years, has been turned into a design office for the creation of the Arpège saddle, in collaboration with German dressage champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl. A simple stroke, a curve, a line give birth to this fine, light dream saddle that keeps a low profile, contrary to certain museum pieces. Tree, seat, flaps, girths–it is all a matter of balance in this métier that Hermès has been mastering for more than 150 years

Sorède, France

Hundreds of inhabitants of Sorède, in the south of France, braided whips and riding crops in hackberry wood until the car and the tractor supplanted the horse. A workshop at the foot of the Albères massif still works with this strong, supple wood, in an establishment for people with mental disabilities. Hermès entrusts them with the task of making all its riding crops and dressage kits. 

Kyoto, Japan

Droplets, waves and mountains… the etchings held prisoner in blocks of stone were the inspiration for the Japanese master bookbinders’ marbled paper. Inkjet printing has transposed these effects to fabric, without ever equalling the delicacy and radiance of the patterns found by Hermès in an old album in the archives of its Lyon textile sector. After years of research, this technique of silk marbling using a compressed, through-coloured starch paste was rediscovered in Kyoto. The Nose family’s company, Kyoto Marble, is its custodian.

Pantin, France

Recognisable by their trademark white coats, which have earned them the nickname the Blouse Brothers, the Prudhomme brothers, Lionel and André, are supervisors at the Pantin leather workshop. But beyond their clothing, their skills honed by four decades with the house have given them the status of mentors, dispensing precious advice with a keen eye for the smallest detail. They pass on to their fellow leather craftsmen the secrets of flawless finishes and the requisites for a perfect bag.

London, United-Kingdom

The Goldfinger Factory spreads out under the Trellick Tower’s 320 metres of concrete. In this underprivileged part of West London, young people become talented apprentices with the support of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès. Recycled wood and metal sheets are transformed into contemporary furniture. A social enterprise that focuses on style. 

Montbron, France

The River Tardoire meanders through the fields where Limousine cows graze lazily. Montbron, in its picture postcard landscape, was sliding into oblivion. The opening of the Hermès leather workshop created over 250 jobs that contributed to the regeneration of this town in the Charentes area of southwestern France. Families are moving back in, a nursery class has reopened, and community activities resumed. A renaissance.