The objective of The Birkin Fairy is to provide a digital forum where I can continue to support my clients and brand enthusiasts as an expert in a space that supports creative freedom and the exchange of information. I am an independent brand blogger and the opinions here are my own. The Birkin Fairy is not affiliated or associated in any way with Hermes International.
I joined Hermes in 2001 and left in December of 2013. Over that time span, I witnessed many changes in the company first hand. I was trained under the artistic direction of Jean Louis Dumas and his influence remains with me today. One of the first major changes I saw, implemented from his foresight, was hermes.com in the fall of 2001. It was a revolutionary step for Hermes since its values are deeply rooted in tactile objects of quality and craftsmanship. The Hermes experience until then had clients utilizing the senses to explore and purchase beautiful objects of art in a traditional retail setting.
For my clients living outside of the metropolitan area of Chicago, where I live and work, it wasn’t always convenient to shop in store. When you think of the geographic location of the Hermes Chicago store, it’s in the center of a gigantic retail desert and the nearest store is in Atlanta. Since the launch of the website, the Hermes client began a metamorphosis. The online shopping experience gave them easier access to product but simultaneously took away the brand experience and information exchange needed when purchasing luxury goods. This non-personalized shift unfolded a unique shopping culture. It was common to see the frustration of these clients and as these frustrations mounted, so did the growing need of an external support group.
This frustration was common across most luxury brands at the time and various forums and groups became established to provide a space for members to share product photos or buzz about current collections. Hermes, clearly aware of these external sites chose not to align with them. Unable to participate in them as a Hermes employee I supported my clients in a limited capacity by welcoming member gatherings into the boutique or by providing much needed clarification on the information they were receiving. Even with these limitations I developed lasting relationships with these members and it benefitted everyone involved.
The influence of technology by fashion powerhouses like Hermes has been slow to adopt. It wasn’t until 2010 that Hermes couldn’t ignore the importance of social media and launched its Facebook page. Other online campaigns like You Tube, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumbler followed more recently. I believe that even with the beautiful campaigns that Hermes showcases online and the external communities that have brought together brand enthusiasts for almost a decade, there is still a void in receiving personal brand expertise and insight from an impartial trusted advisor. I believe that there is a need for someone, who has had direct experience with the clients and the brand, to continue to offer the “in store” quality of Hermes service and intimate experience on a boundless digital platform. Until this day, no former employee has offered his or her support in this format. I hope you enjoy my blog and insight into the world of Hermes. I am here to help as much as I can. I look forward to starting this journey with you!
Caroline (The Birkin Fairy)