When selecting business partners, we are particularly demanding because our products are unique are made of the highest quality with an emphasis on manual work and limited quantities. Hermès Paris has become our partner as it strives to similar business policy, moreover, it is globally recognized and respected brand. The major part of the success of brand Ugloft belongs to materials as they represent the top quality. Therefore, we became partners and started to use their materials for our products.
Beginnings in the 19th century
Thierry Hermès (1801–1878) was born in Krefeld (Germany) to a French father and a German mother. The family moved to France in 1828. In 1837, Thierry Hermès first established Hermès as a harness workshop in the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris, dedicated to serving European noblemen. He created high-quality wrought harnesses and bridles for the carriage trade, winning several awards including the first prize in its class in 1855 and again in 1867 at the Expositions Universelles in Paris.
Hermès’s son, Charles-Émile Hermès (1835–1919), took over management from his father and moved the shop in 1880 to 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré where it remains to this day. With the help of his sons Adolphe and Émile-Maurice, Charles-Émile introduced saddlery and started selling his products retail. The company catered to the élite of Europe, North Africa, Russia, Asia, and the Americas. In 1900, the firm offered the Haut à Courroies bag, specially designed for riders to carry their saddles with them.
Hermès Frères era
After Charles-Émile Hermès’s retirement, sons Adolphe and Émile-Maurice took leadership and renamed the company Hermès Frères. Shortly after, Émile-Maurice began furnishing the czar of Russia with saddles. By 1914, up to 80 saddle craftsmen were employed. Subsequently, Émile-Maurice was granted the exclusive rights to use the zipper for leather goods and clothing, becoming the first to introduce the device in France. In 1918, Hermès introduced the first leather golf jacket with a zipper, made for Edward, Prince of Wales. Because of its exclusive rights arrangement the zipper became known in France as the fermeture Hermès (Hermès fastener).
Throughout the 1920s when he was the sole head of the firm, Émile-Maurice added an accessory collection and a clothing collection. He also groomed his three sons-in-law (Robert Dumas, Jean-René Guerrand and Francis Puech) as business partners. In 1922, the first leather handbags were introduced after Émile-Maurice’s wife complained of not being able to find one to her liking. Émile-Maurice created the handbag collection himself.
In 1924, Hermès established a presence in the United States and opened two shops in French resorts. In 1929, the first women’s couture apparel collection was previewed in Paris. During the 1930s Hermès introduced some of its most recognized original goods such as the leather Sac à dépêches in 1935 (later renamed the “Kelly bag” after Grace Kelly), and the Hermès carrés (scarves) in 1937.
The Hermès scarves became integrated into French culture. In 1938, the Chaîne d’ancre bracelet and the riding jacket and outfit joined the classic collection. By this point, the company’s designers began to draw inspirations from paintings, books, and objets d’art. The 1930s also witnessed Hermès’s entrance into the United States market by offering its products in a Neiman Marcus department store in New York; however, it later withdrew. In 1949, the same year as the launch of the Hermès silk tie, the first perfume, Eau d’Hermès, was produced.
Starting in the mid-1930s, Hermès employed Swiss watchmaker Universal Genève as the brand’s first and exclusive designer of timepieces, producing a line of men’s wrist chronographs (manufactured in 18K gold or stainless steel) and women’s art deco cuff watches (in 18K gold, steel or platinum). Both models contained dials signed either as “Hermès” or “Hermès Universal Genève”, while the watch movements were signed “Universal Genève S.A.”. The Hermès/Universal partnership would last until the 1950s.
Émile-Maurice summarized the Hermès philosophy during his leadership as “leather, sport, and a tradition of refined elegance