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Hermès

The Hermès history starts in the 19th century when Thierry Hermès started a harness workshop on the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris for European noblemen, crafting goods for carriages. Hermès’ son, Charles-Émile, took over the shop in 1880 and moved to 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where it still resides today. Charles Émile’s sons, Adolphe and Émile-Maurice, took over from their father and renamed the company Hermès Frères. In 1918, Émile-Maurice was given the rights to use the zipper for leather goods and clothing, becoming the first to introduce the device in France. Émile-Maurice trained his three son-in-laws to take over the business, and the shop began to offer handbags in 1924. Clothing and the now famous scarves were introduced by the 1930s. Expanding their presence, the brand began to sell in the U.S. starting in New York City, and later expanding throughout the globe. The company was run by Robert Dumas-Hermès through the late '70s and introduced the iconic orange box with horse and carriage, which became the Hermès signature logo. The firm introduced ties and ready-wear, and Jean-Louis Dumas took over the leadership in the late '70s.  Hermès perfume was introduced and Hermès Home was created in the 1980s. Porcelain and china products became a staple of the company in the 1990s. In 1997, Jean-Louis employed Belgian designer Martin Margiela to supervise women's ready-to-wear. In 2003, Margiela left Hermès and was replaced by the iconoclastic and cutting edge Jean-Paul Gaultier, who became the head designer. By 2008, Hermès had 14 product divisions that included accessories, ready-to-wear, decorative arts, tableware, and jewelry, to name a few. Hermès designers have included Lola Prusac, Jacques Delahaye, Catherine de Karolyi, Monsieur Le Vaillant, Nicole de Vesian, Eric Bergère, Claude Brouet, Tan Giudicelli, Marc Audibet, Mariot Chane, Bernard Sanz, Martin MargielaJean-Paul Gaultier, Christophe Lemaire, Véronique Nichanian (the menswear designer since 1988), and Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski (since 2014,succeeding Lemaire). Hermès continues to be a force to be reckoned with in luxury and home fashion throughout the world.