Last night I was lucky enough to attend the opening reception of the Hermès Ateliers Exhibition located in San Francisco’s Union Square Park. My fellow attendees and I got to see up-close how the goods of Hermès are handcrafted by trained artisans, many of whom have been working with the luxury brand for decades.
Circulating the pavilion, we sipped cocktails while watching demonstrations of screen-printing, stone setting, final hand stitching on a tie, detailing on leather handbags, creation of buttonholes, and much more.
Local translators were hired to help explain the various processes and answer questions on behalf of the artisans who traveled to San Francisco from France.
Some of the highlights for me:
- watching the image on a scarf slowly develop as each layer of color was added
- the quick but precise tap of a chisel creating a shirt’s buttonhole
- trying to keep up with a description of the oh-so-many steps to designing a scarf illustration
What a treat to meet the people behind the goods as well as see and better appreciate their craft. The exhibition is open to all now through September 24, 2012, 11am to 6pm. I highly recommend this rare opportunity.