Hermès International S.A. is a French manufacturer of quality goods established in 1837, today specializing in leather, lifestyle accessories, perfumery, luxury goods, and ready-to-wear. Its logo, since the 1950s, is of a Duc carriage with horse.
In 1837, Thierry Hermès (1801–1878) first established Hermès as a harness workshop on the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris, dedicated to serving European noblemen. He created some of the finest wrought harnesses and bridles for the carriage trade.
Hermès's son, Charles-Émile Hermès (1835–1919), took over management from his father and moved the shop in 1880 to 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where it remains today and where the new leader introduced saddlery and began retail sales. With the aid of sons Adolphe and Émile-Maurice Hermès, the company catered to the élite of Europe, North Africa, Russia, Asia, and the Americas. In 1900, the firm offered the Haut à Courroies bag, specially designed for riders to carry their saddles with them.
In 1922, the first leather handbags were introduced after Émile-Maurice's wife complained of not finding a suitable one to her liking.
In 1929, the first women's couture apparel collection was previewed in Paris. In 1935, the leather Sac à dépêches (later renamed the "Kelly bag" after Grace Kelly) was introduced, and, in 1937, the Hermès carrés (scarves) were introduced. In 1949, the same year as the launch of the Hermès silk tie, the first perfume, Eau d'Hermès, was produced.
In a time during his management, Émile-Maurice summarized the Hermès philosophy as "Leather, sport, and a tradition of refined elegance."
Véronique Nichanian is the current menswear designer, and Christophe Lemaire is currently womenswear designer.