Hermès International S.A., or simply Hermès . ) is a French high fashion house 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.
Designers throughout the company’s history have included Lola Prusac, Jacques Delahaye, Catherine de Karolyi, Monsieur Levaillant, Nicole de Vesian, Eric Bergère, Claude Brouet, Tan Giudicelli, Marc Audibet, Mariot Chane, Martin Margiela, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Veronique Nichanian (current men’s-wear designer), Christophe Lemaire (current women’s-wear designer).
The Hermès family, originally Protestant Germans, settled in France in 1828. 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. Monsieur Hermès’s earned citations included the first prize in its class in 1855 and the first-class medal in 1867 at the Expositions Universelles in Paris.
Hermès’s son, Charles-Émile Hermès 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.