Situated in The Dubai Mall’s inaugurated extension of Fashion Avenue, Hermès’s new boutique is a site to behold. Designed by Parisian architecture agency RDAI, the multi-storey store presents the luxury Parisian brand’s range of coveted womenswear, accessories, silk, equestrian and leather goods, fragrances, and also a dedicated section for homeware inside its 1000-square-metre space. “Mixing innovation with tradition has been completely embedded in Hermès’ identity since the beginning,” says Hélène Dubrule, Managing Director, Hermès Maison.
“This blend of heritage and how we can always renew ourselves and use new techniques while still being faithful to this gesture of the artisan is crucial to us. We are inspired by heritage but there are always twists in order to project an experience and values of tradition into the contemporary world.” A perfect example is the inauguration party held in March this year for the new boutique celebrated with a special carnival inspired by the brand’s 2018 theme of the year: ‘Let’s Play’. For the occasion, Dubai’s most fashionable crowd came together at Burj Park for an impressively and highly immersive fun fair appropriately titled ‘Hermès Fantasy.’ Guests mingled while viewing acrobatic performers and riding on merry-go-rounds, visiting a house of mirrors and chatting amidst festival lights. It was, in true Hermès fashion, an event that aptly merged the brand’s heritage with its zest for fun and play.
“Hermès started to make furniture in the 1920s and 30s. Since then there was this search for newness, discovery and new venture,” says Dubrule. “In terms of savoir-faire and know-how, the idea was always to go further and use new technologies but at the same time be very faithful and true to Hermès’ authentic gesture.” Such interpretations are evident in the brand’s latest homeware collection presented during Salone del Mobile, of which several items will soon be displayed at the store in Dubai. “We are presenting a bench and some stools in bamboo designed by a Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza. He has a very pure design and it is a perfect example of how we mix innovation and tradition,” adds Dubrule.
Another look inside the Hermès store
There’s something calming, almost meditative about walking into Hermès. The Dubai Mall flagship gives the same sense of peace and also excitement.“In the architecture of our boutique there is always a reflection on the original concept of Hermès and how we can renew the codes of the House,” says Dubrule. Just look at its façade, which has been customised with taupe terracotta vertical louvers as well as a glass front and windows that hold a screen-printed motif. Pass by at night and relish an entirely different scene: the exterior illuminates the Hermès sign that sits atop the building. Inside the store features an open-plan space with an an eight-metre-high ceiling and specially designated sections for watches and jewellery, a leather room, Men’s and Women’s rooms and, of course, the home section. “Each store is different; each shows a quest for innovation and spontaneity which anchors it to the local culture,” she adds.
In terms of The Dubai Mall store, it was important for Hermès to be represented powerfully in the region. “It’s the flagship for the Middle East,” says Dubrule. “The mission is for the store to showcase Hermès in all its diversity and present all the métiers to the region.” The Maison section has its own beautiful space. “We have found that there is a growing interest in home and interiors in the Middle East,” she adds. “It was the right time for Hermès to dedicate a nice space for home in Dubai and with our partner in the region we decided to display the richness of the home collections in this new store, there was enough space for it. The idea was to give it a homey atmosphere, to have the feeling of being a home and to share the lifestyle of Hermès.”
Natural light emanates through the windows into the space endowing it with a feeling of serenity and calm. There’s also the sense that visitors are inside an upscale Parisian apartment complete with parquet flooring. Also, notes Dubrule, the space was derived according to the local culture of hospitality, the importance of family and entertainment. “We want guests to feel very welcome inside the store and inside the entire Hermès universe,” she adds. “We’ve found an increasing appreciation from the local and Middle Eastern community for high-end design pieces.” Clearly, the time is now for collectible design in Dubai. Hermes.com