Hermès is taking big steps into the future, finding inspiration in unexpected people and places.
It may sound curious that Hermès Maison has chosen an architect and a publisher to be the home line’s artistic directors, but it starts to seem obvious once you hear the pair in question explain it. According to the architect, Charlotte Macaux Perelman, who made her name in hotels, restaurants and landmark renovations, Pierre-Alexis and Axel Dumas — Hermès’s chief artistic director and C.E.O., respectively — ‘‘knew about my affinity with craftsmanship and crafts.’’ The publisher, Alexis Fabry, who co-founded Toluca Éditions in Paris, cites his ‘‘keen interest in design,’’ and adds that the Dumas cousins ‘‘are probably drawn to my literary perspective and the presence of photography in my publications.’’ Though Macaux Perelman and Fabry had never before worked together, they are longtime friends. ‘‘We were surprised to realize that we were so often in agreement,’’ says Macaux Perelman. Their first collection, which debuts next month during the Milan Furniture Fair, features a wide range of collectibles: spare, clean-lined wood and leather furniture by the architect Rafael Moneo; tabletop curiosities like a leather mail tray and a brass magnifying glass; brightly colored, geometric wallpaper by the illustrator Nigel Peake; and a vanity cabinet with folding canvas doors. Taken together, they represent the sum — and balance — of Macaux Perelman and Fabry’s parts. ‘‘The furniture embodies a certain purity,’’ says Fabry, ‘‘while the tableware, textiles, fabrics and wallpapers are endowed with a more narrative, decorative thrust. Rigor and fantasy complement each other.’’
Editorial: NYTimes, Hannah Goldfield