OUT OF AFRICA: While African themes have often appeared in Hermès’ silk twill scarves, two new designs reflect the work of an African art collective of Zulu, Zimbabwean and Sotho potters based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Ardmore, established in 1985 by Fée Halsted, is known for its exuberant, exotic style exalting flora and fauna. Highly sought-after by collectors, its ceramic pieces — from tea sets and tureens to dishes and figurines — feature fantastical flourishes like elephants and monkeys or palms and proteas.
Two and a half years ago, Hermès approached Halsted about a possible collaboration. “We submitted six designs,” a spokesperson for Ardmore said, “and two were accepted.”
Those designs — The Savana Dance and La Marche du Zambèze — have just dropped in selected Hermès boutiques, as well as online. They reflect the house’s theme for 2016, which is La Nature.
Sydney Nyabeze, a painter originally from Zimbabwe, created them. La Marche du Zambèze features an elephant and other Zambezi wildlife. Available in 10 colorways, it is priced at 345 euros, or $375 at current exchange.
The Savana Dance, meanwhile, depicts a monkey being chased by a leopard, with giant protea blooms surrounding them. Made from vintage silk, it comes in eight colorways and retails for 265 euros, or $288.