Hermès announced yesterday plans to open a new leather goods workshop by 2022. It will be in the Ardennes region, straddling the villages of Tournes and Cliron. According to the luxury atelier, the new facility will ultimately employ 250 handbag artisans. As you may recall, since 2010, Hermes has added nine leather goods workshops in France.
Yet again, we wonder the effect on the exclusivity of Hermès handbag products. https://www.pursebop.com/sales-in-china-buoy-hermes-half-year-financials/, https://www.pursebop.com/hermes-rides-high-with-increased-production-and-chinese-demand/
Surely newer fans of the brand will be thrilled, but what about long-time Hermès collectors? Let us hear from you.
Photo courtesy: @xdinogx
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Many of you know that I am 4th generation Hermes client and I am French. I have become increasingly unhappy not only with the service in the boutiques but with the QUALITY of Hermes products. I have doubts that anything being produced now or in the future will last long enough to pass down to my grown daughters or my darling grand daughters.
While at FSH a customer actually grabbed my 25 year old Kelly to take to a sales person to buy but my Birkin from 2015 has already been to spa twice and looks old and worn out. Plus the fact I still have my mother and grandmother exotic skin bags with spa and decent storage will be handed down by me.
I think with each new factory, Hermes overstretches both its internal production capacity and QUALITY CONTROL as well as overstretching the production and tanneries responsible for their leathers. I worked for many years in haute couture so I know this is a problem with other brands too and I definitely know every type of QC challenge. And I only buy from the Hermes boutiques so none of my bags can be questioned as replicas!!
Interesting enough is that my belts and those of my two daughters still seem to be the same high standard as in the 1950s and 1960s but the small leather goods and the gloves have both gone down in quality—-stitching and long lasting. Silk scarves seem to have maintained the quality. But try asking some of the younger sales staff for a plisse scarf and see if they know what you want! Cashmere quality is facing the same problems that every cashmere garment or scarf is facing world wide attempts at over production starting at the level of free range animals to stressed out animals.
So my reaction is definitely NEGATIVE FOR SEVERAL REASONS:
1. SUPPLY AND DEMAND vertically from tanneries through Hermes owned factories—you note that I know say FACTORIES and NOT ateliers!!
2. Too much pandering to the new customers who have no sense of the history nor issues of quality and only want a status symbol to keep up with the Jones or Chans or Kardasians.
3. Too many NEW styles being introduced as if the brand is competing with designer handbags and leather goods like Bottega or Calvin Klein for “IT” bag status with every season.
4. I still have not forgotten how poorly long time clients were treated by boutique managers when we questioned the strange odor of urine wafting from our Hermes handbags. Blame the client is NOT GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE OR RELATIONS!
5. Why should I pay euros 10,000 for a real Hermes when walking towards me are at least 3 replica handbags that look as good as the real Hermes and cost less than 1/3 the price? Even the sales receipts and the boxes are now easily copied. On this the most copied styles are the Birkin and the Kelly but now the Evelyne and the Garden Party and even the Constance are everywhere too.
And moving leather factories into French villages does not help the local environment at all! And for most of these villages it is way too little and too late to keep the young people in town and away from moving to major city centers.
So I seem to have rained on your parade about this announcement. Ask yourself how quickly artisans can be trained to highest level of required skills? Ask yourself how quickly QC persons can be trained to inspect? How quickly the pieces, threads, etc that hold you leathers together can be hand made instead of using injection molding or industrial methods?
And when does a coveted luxury artisan made leather product become and industrial product with fewer stitches per centimeter?
All that said above, I am happy with my newly delivered Halzan but still find the soles of the shoes and sandals impossibly hard to be comfortable. The jewelry is beautiful as are the home decor textiles but then these are not what the new customers stand in line for.
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