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Hermès in the Making Event at the Somerset Collection in Troy

Meet the Artisans and Discover Hermès’ Responsible and Sustainable Model


One year ago, Hermès introduced a naturalistic new space within the Somerset Collection in Troy, the brand’s first store in the Greater Detroit area.

Inspired by Michigan landscapes, the store features a series of serene alcoves in warm earth tones accented with elements evocative of the sky, water, forests, and rock formations.

Now, the brand brings its first public exhibition in some time – Hermès in the Making – to Troy.

This exploration of Hermès’ contemporary manufacturing will show how objects designed to last are created using artisanal techniques. It will include demonstrations from Hermès craftspeople based in France and the U.S..



Says Diane Mahady, Executive VP of Sales + Merchandising of Hermès USA, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to invite the Detroit community backstage and share how our artisans work, and the true journey and craftsmanship of our products in the making.”

Somerset is the first – and only one of two planned – stops in this traveling exhibition.

“Detroit is a special place for us. The renaissance around craftsmanship and art that’s taking place in and around the city offers lots of synergies with our brand.”

She adds, “In fact, the zipper on our first handbag was inspired by a car, so one might say there was motor city inspiration from the very beginning.”

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As part of the programming, Hermès is hosting roundtable talks at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) to discuss the importance of repair, transmission, and nurturing artisan practice in the contemporary world.

The moderator of the panels is  Rebecca van Bergen, the founder of Nest, a nonprofit building a new hand worker economy to advance global workforce inclusivity, women’s wellbeing beyond factories, and cultural preservation.

van Bergen says,

This is an opportunity to bring together a diverse group of students, makers, customers, and clients from all walks of life within Detroit around shared topics and beliefs and build conversations regarding the importance of craftsmanship and longevity of goods.

The roundtables also include Fashion Designer and native Detroiter Tracy Reese and Aki Choklat, Chair of Fashion Design at College for Creative Studies.

About this, van Bergen says,

Tracy is running a brand and producing in Detroit, and steeped in the history of local manufacturing. As such, she brings such an important perspective to the conversations. And Aki is literally pioneering the future and building the next generation of leaders in fashion and sustainability in Detroit.

The exhibition itself features four themes that form the basis for the history and life of Hermès preservation and transmission of know-how, respect for and quality of materials, commitment to the long-term, and regional anchoring.

The Hermès artisans bring with them their tools, their materials, and their expertise, and the themes are shown through various workshops including a silk craftsman printing demonstration, a screen printing animation mini-workshop, a leather reparation demonstration as well as a leather and saddle making demonstration

Mahady says,

Hermès is a six-generation family-run business and this longevity and idea of long-term commitment is in our DNA. Each of these themes is represented in different ways, yet are ultimately aligned around the importance of taking the time to make projects that last a lifetime.

The exhibition incorporates a variety of interactive games that appeal to all five senses, including workshops focused on dexterity, musical composition using round knives, and coloring and more. Visitors will also be able to watch the films from the “Footsteps across the World” collection produced by documentary filmmaker Frédéric Laffont, which expresses Hermès’ unique connection with sustainable development.

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Mahady says, “Sustainability and quality of materials are of the utmost importance to us. In a society that is so fast-moving, Hermès slows down the pace and builds products that last a lifetime and focus on repair versus replace.”Hermes Detroit Somerset0757

In closing Mahady expressed that the exhibit is truly for everyone, saying, “There is a perception that Hermès is less approachable since we are a luxury brand, but this event is designed for kids, adults, and everyone in between and it’s a lot of fun.”

Hermès’ in the Making kicked off in Copenhagen, traveled to Turin, Italy last month and runs from June 10 to June 15  behind the Hermès boutique at The Somerset Collection. It will then continue on to other cities.


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