SHANGHAI — Hermès is beginning a worldwide touring cycle of exhibitions focused on the culture and heritage of the French luxury house, and stop number one is Shanghai.
Opened to the public Friday, the Hermès Maison in Shanghai will host the “Harnessing the Roots” exhibit until Nov. 18.
“As the Chinese market is very important for Hermès we hope that this show about the DNA of Hermès, this deep dive [into the company’s history] will help people understand what we want to do,” said Hermès Greater China chief executive officer Luc Hennard.
The exhibition covers horses harnesses and other equestrian equipment, such as bridles, bits, saddles and hoods, referencing Hermès’ origins as a harness maker and the ways in which these origins have influences bags, garments and accessories throughout the brand’s 180-year history.
Bruno Gaudichon, the curator at the “La Piscine” Museum of Art and Industry in Roubaix, who designed the Harnessing the Roots exhibition, and Laurence Fontaine, the scenographer, have arranged the objects by theme rather than in chronological order.
Each room of the exhibit centers around an object of inspiration — perhaps saddles or bridle bits — and then fanned out around those central pieces are photographs, garments and accessories that have borrowed from its original aesthetic.