HERMES’ NEW LONDON HOME: This week, Hermès unveiled its revamped London flagship at 155 New Bond Street, with the store’s striking design paying homage to the listed Time & Life building it is housed in, which was designed by architect Michael Rosenauer in 1951, with interiors by Sir Hugh Casson and Misha Black.
Now, Paris-based firm RDAI, under the artistic direction of Denis Montel, has re-imagined the space, with details such as terrazzo stone floors, an elevator done in glass and set with copper mesh panels, cherry wood display cabinets and etched glass fittings in dusky rose. The new design also sees the store expanded to 7,244-square-feet over two floors, up from the original 4,251-square-feet that the Hermès store had occupied since it first opened there in 1975.
And while the store showcases all of Hermès 16 métiers – including its women’s and men’s wear, along with its silk collections, fine jewelry and watches, equestrian accessories, writing materials, fragrances and leather goods – the focal point is its home department. That space boasts many of the building’s original features, such as dark wood paneled walls, double height ceilings and a black leather and brass studded light fixture, designed by R.Y. Gooden and Ellis Miles. The area, which displays the house’s furniture and fabrics – along with its Module H wall panels, designed by architect Shigeru Ban – also looks out onto a peaceful terrace that’s home to a Henry Moore sculpture. The piece, entitled “Draped Reclining Figure,” was originally commissioned by Peter Shepheard, whom Casson hired in the Fifties to design the outside terrace. Another Moore piece, a frieze of abstract Portland stone figures, is carved into the building’s façade.
To mark the store’s opening, Hermès has created several limited edition designs. They include the Bond Street Clutch, of which only three have been made in different leathers and exotic skins, all in tones of pillar-box red, along with a one-off, winged, miniature saddle. The house has also produced a red version of artist Alice Shirley’s “Dans Un Jardin Anglais” print, done on a limited edition of 140 silk scarves.