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Hermes’ Festival des Metiers in New York

The French luxury brand celebrates 175 years in business

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More than 130 guests buzzed through 583 Park Avenue on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 4, to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Hermès. Ten of the famed French house’s master craftsmen and women had been flown in to demonstrate the detail-oriented artisanal production that goes into all of Hermès trademark pieces, including their silk scarves, Collier de Chien bracelets and, of course, the Kelly, the luxury brand’s exquisite handbag and a shorthand way to indicate one’s good taste.

Guests such as Hermès CEO Bob Chavez, Phillip Lim, Graydon Carter and his wife, Anna Scott Carter, Aerin Lauder, Julie and Billy Macklowe, and Stephanie and David Wolkoff enjoyed cocktails and took in the inventive rustic set design created by Paola Navone. Then, in Old World style, a gaggle of trumpeters signaled it was time for a seated dinner.

Centerpieces of white flowers—fashioned from Hermès leather, natch—made for lavish table-top decor, and Hermès’ French heritage was apparent in the wine pairings which showcased selections from Gallic vineyards like Joseph Drouhin and Louis Roederer. The meal consisted of truffled cauliflower soup with pickled sunchokes, pumpernickel croutons and hazelnuts; pan-roasted Chilean sea bass with a yuzu foam; and almond cake with apricot coulis and olive-oil ice cream. As an extra treat, milk, dark and white chocolate truffles were served in a clever way that nodded to the craftsmanship being celebrated: To extract them, guests had to break open chocolate spheres with lucite hammers. After dinner, the attendees listened to an electric violin performance from Canadian performer Dr. Draw, and, upon leaving, they all received gifts tucked into Hermès’ signature sumptuous orange bags. 

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