Hermès has been known for a number of iconic products since it was established in 1837. While the maison's handbags have taken center stage in recent years, Hermès actually got its start by crafting harnesses and saddles. Aside from craftsmanship, this heritage is what separates Hermès from the others while being a continuous source of inspiration in current designs.
What many don't know is that the house makes many other items that have become icons over the years. These range from luggage to accessories such as scarves, watches, and jewelry. Here, we've listed down the most iconic products from the French luxury fashion house and the stories that come with them.
The Birkin, a no-brainer, is on top of the list as the most iconic from the French maison. First released in 1984, the Birkin has been made in different kinds of leather and released in a rainbow of colors throughout the years. The Birkin became a cultural icon because of the many prominent women that have carried it, the number of times it's been features in mainstream media, and partly because of the price tag it comes with. In 2018, a matte white Niloticus crocodile Himalaya Birkin became the most expensive handbag ever sold when it was auctioned for HKD$2.98 million or P20 million at Christie's.
The Kelly bag's design was originally meant to carry a saddle or a pair of boots. In the '30s, Hermès decided to revamp the design and name it the Sac a Courroies, becoming a favorite handbag of the maison's elegant customers. One of those would be Grace Kelly, who was photographed carrying it on the set of To Catch a Thief. It was only after the actress announced her engagement to Prince Rainier and carried the style to shield her pregnant stomach that the Kelly's iconic status was cemented. What makes the Kelly special is the fact that it takes 25 hours and 2,600 hand stitches to craft one.
The Constance was designed by in-house designer Catherine Chaillet, who named the bag after her daughter. After it was introduced in 1959, it has become one of the brand's most loved bags. A flap bag, a large H acts as its clasp. The Constance is currently offered in four sizes: the micro, mini, 24 cm, and Elan. Fans of the design include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, and Diane Kruger.
Clic Clac H Bracelet
Hermès makes plenty of enamel bracelets, but none compare to the popularity of the Clic Clac. The bracelet takes its name from the sound it makes when you toggle the clasp to take it on or off. The Clic Clac's design features the letter H in the center as its clasp while being flanked by shiny, colored enamel. It is currently available in three sizes as well as a more streamlined and more masculine version for men. There are about a hundred colors to choose from and three hardware options: silver, gold, and rose gold.
Collier de Chien Bracelet
Inspired by a dog collar, the Collier de Chien is one of Hermès' most popular leather bracelets. The Collier de Chien motif was born after the maison was commissioned to design a collar for a client's bulldog. The pyramid studs and O ring attracted several other dog owners in Paris, but it was only after couturiere Marie Gerber had the idea to order it in a belt that it really took off. Today, the cuff is made in all kinds of leather with exotics such as crocodile and lizard as the most prized.
The Hermès Constance belt is the ultimate as far as logo belts go. It's Hermès' unmistakable letter H that makes the belt. When worn properly, it can make any look more elevated and add a beautiful shape. The beauty of Hermès' Constance belt comes from the fact that different style buckles and leather straps are completely interchangeable. Not only that, the straps are reversible with several different color and leather combinations to choose from.
Avalon Throw Blanket
No doubt you've seen an Hermès blanket carefully draped on a sofa at one point in your life. The Avalon, which debuted in 1988, and its signature pattern makes for an excellent statement piece in a space. It's made in the softest mix of merino wool and cashmere, and it comes in a variety of colors and sizes including a large throw down to a baby blanket.
Though a relatively new design, the Oran has become one of the maison's most iconic shoes. Released in 1997, the Oran was designed by Pierre Hardy for Hermès. The sandal can be characterized by its H-shaped vamp and the notable contrasting stitch detail. Much like other Hermès products, the Oran has been made in the house's signature kinds of leather in several colors but the black and the tan remain the most coveted.
The very first Hermès scarf was introduced in 1937, which was inspired by a woodblock drawing by Robert Dumas, one of the sons-in-law of Emile-Maurice Hermès. It takes quite a bit to make each scarf as its made from the silk of 250 moth cocoons. Through the years, the scarf has remained the most popular product of the house being favored by Queen Elizabeth II, Grace Kelly (who famously used her Hermès scarf as a sling), Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Deneuve, and Sarah Jessica Parker, to name a few.
Cape Cod Watch
Hermès artistic director Henri d'Origny was the man behind the Cape Cod. He designed the timepiece in 1991 after getting inspired by another iconic element from the maison: the Chaine d'Ancre. It features all things signature to the house such as a leather strap, double tour bracelet, and chain motif. What makes the Cape Cod special is the understated elegance it has, being able to blend with varying dress codes.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountry.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.