Conversation Du Monde d’Hermès 2024 speaks on Faubourg; an inhabited place, an “enchantery”

Hermès - a story steeped in history, a dedication to heritage that permeates every stitch, every buckle, every exquisitely crafted object. Founded in 1837 as a harness and saddlery workshop, Hermès has journeyed from equestrian roots to a global symbol of luxury, all while holding its origins close.

Heritage at Hermès is dynamic. It's a living, breathing wellspring of inspiration that is not only incorporated into the products, but the walls and halls that hold them. Last Tuesday, at the historic Hermès Sydney store that resides in the Trust Building, the unique spirit of Hermès inspired an enchanted conversation celebrating the interrelationship between the house's past, present and future.


Conversation Du Monde d'Hermès 2024

Annually, Hermès commemorates the unveiling of its latest edition of Le Monde d’Hermès, the house's own publication with Conversation Du Monde. Hermès Artistic Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas, enabled the houses annual event this year to dive into the rich history behind one of its pioneering stores, established by Charles-Emile Hermès at 24 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré in Paris.

Assembled for the conversation to discuss this year's theme 'The Spirit of the Faubourg' was Karin Upton Baker the Managing Director of Hermès Australia, Architect Julia Capp, Heritage Consultant Jonathon Bryant, Author David Meagher, and Editor-In-Chief of Le Monde d'Hermès Olivier Wicker.

"Sometimes, a date is like a nudge," Dumas reflected on the serendipitous alignment of 2024 with the store's street number. It prompted a deeper exploration of this historic location he referred to as an "enchantery", echoing the theme chosen for this year's Le Monde d’Hermès. And while Faubourg was not Hermès' first address, it holds a secret that no one possesses, one of "enchantery" as Dumas' father would call it. A place that goes beyond mere physicalities and is rather "a labyrinth intractable to logic because it is a dream creation" Dumas would call it.



Trust Building: Modernity meets heritage

The Trust Building has a fascinating blend of architectural styles, drawing inspiration from both the grandeur of the Beaux Arts movement and the classical proportions of the Renaissance. Recognised for its historical significance, the Trust Building has been listed on the NSW State Heritage Register since 1999.

The building's rebirth as a Hermès boutique offered a unique opportunity to bridge heritage and modernity. Denis Montel, Artistic Director of Rena Dumas Architecture Interièure (RDAI), the firm founded by the late wife of former Hermès president Jean-Louis Dumas, orchestrated this harmonious fusion.

The art within the store reflects this same thoughtful interplay. A mix of Leila Jeffreys' portraits of Australian birds adds a touch of local flair, while vibrant yellow marble complements the clean lines of the interior. Hermès' French heritage is subtly woven in with artworks depicting equestrian figures. A prominent piece is the equestrian portrait of Louis XIV by René-Antoine Houasse. Here, King Louis XIV sits astride a rearing white horse, embodying the spirit of victory.

This carefully curated blend of historical grandeur, contemporary design, and subtle nods to Hermès' heritage created a truly special atmosphere for the evening's conversation. One that evolves around Dumas' idea of the spirit of Faubourg as he indicates, "Hermes's deepest past, flows joyously into our present and propels us confidently into the future. A future that is wide open, just like the doors of number 24." It perfectly embodied the brand's philosophy of innovation that respects tradition, that made the Trust Building the ideal venue to explore the timeless allure of 24 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré.




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