STARTER HOME: Hermès on Monday unveiled its first permanent home for Petit h, the sister line founded in 2010 using upcycled luxury raw materials.
The dedicated space, adjacent to the French luxury brand’s flagship on Rue de Sèvres in Paris, features objects designed by a team of 30 people under the creative direction of Godefroy de Virieu, who took over from the label’s founder Pascale Mussard in 2018.
“This is an important new chapter for Petit h,” he said. “It’s a first time that Petit h has a permanent space. We’ll continue to do pop-ups across the world, but this will really be our home.”
For the first time, the collection features clay objects, produced in collaboration with Poterie Ravel, which like Hermès was founded in 1837. Thierry Lachaume, one of its potters, sat by the door turning a vase as part of a workshop to mark the opening.
One jar comes with a leather handle taken from a Kelly handbag, another with a crystal stopper from Hermès-owned crystal-maker Saint-Louis.
“We like to explore new territories and get out of our workshop a little bit,” de Virieu said. “It’s really an incredible opportunity for creation, innovation, discovery and research, and it’s also an incredible opportunity to meet people.”
Like the main store, which reopened in March after a renovation, the space is designed by architecture firm RDAI. Of particular note is the terrazzo floor, which incorporates discarded brass elements from the house’s leather goods workshops. White walls feature metallic panels where objects can be fixed with magnets.
The space will host weekly workshops, said Antoine Herbeau, director of the flagship. “Customers love them because the result is generally quite aesthetically pleasing, objectively speaking. They get to touch the product, and they are immersed in the Hermès universe while surrounded by artists,” he noted.
The Sèvres store is the only location worldwide to permanently carry the Petit h line. “It’s a key element of the store. There’s a reason we’ve placed it at the entrance,” Herbeau said.