Hermes horse saddle

PARIS — In a show of confidence in future demand for high-end leather handbags, Hermès International has kicked off construction of a new workshop in Normandy, France.

The Louviers site will create 250 jobs, according to the luxury firm, and reinforce the company’s leather goods and saddlery division in the region. Hermès opened a workshop in Val-de Reuil in Normandy — a popular region with equestrian enthusiasts —  just three years ago. 

In addition to leather bags and other objects, the new workshop, which is due to open in 2022, will make saddles and bridles. 

Designed by architect Lina Ghotmeh with the participation of landscape architect Erik Dhont, the brick and wood workshop will produce more energy than needed for its own consumption.

Hermès has opened nine leather goods workshops over the past decade, adding more than 2,500 workers in the leather-making division, which employs more than 3,800 people. 

In the upcoming year, the company will open a site in southwest France and another in the Paris region. 

The company’s leather goods and saddlery division generated half of annual sales last year, or 3.41 billion euros.

Hermès produces the large majority of products in France — 80 percent.

Fuelled by soaring global demand for French luxury products in recent years — until the coronavirus crisis hit brands — like Chanel and Louis Vuitton have been ramping up production, building state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly production facilities in France.

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