Hermès, style icon
Since Hermès introduced their first silk square in 1937, the 175-year-old Paris-based house of Hermès has literally rolled out more than 1,500 designs from 150 designers. Hand-rolled edges are just one feature of the scarves spun from Chinese silk with glorious colors handcrafted in stunning designs which take months to develop. Prized above all other scarves, the beloved silk square was the chosen accessory of classy and classic fashionistas, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy, Katharine Hepburn. Talk about an ultimate PR designer coup? Queen Elizabeth II wore a Hermès scarf for her own portrait on a 1956 postage stamp.
Hermès designs have been commissioned to celebrate coronations, war heroes, international expositions, horse races, hot air balloons, golden carriages, and innovations in transportation. Typically, 20 new designs are launched annually while re-issues of past best sellers are produced in new color ways.
Hermès, tie one on
Are there 40, or possibly 50 different ways to wear a silk scarf? Each brand new Hermès scarf is accompanied by the famous brand’s instruction booklet, tucked inside the signature orange packaging sporting a chocolate grosgrain ribbon. Even the booklets and the boxes are collector items. Hermès has featured plenty of scarf tying options over seven decades, including a turban, a chignon, a bustier, a handbag, even two scarves tied together to create a dress. These days, Milllennials are picking up the mantle of vintage Hermès, inventing edgy ways to revive the scarves worn as necklaces, headbands, sashes, halter tops, and more. Most practical of all are the 21 different ways to tie a silk square scarf without attempting to turn it into anything else at all, but to luxuriously drape it around the neck to instantly and tastefully upgrade any look.
Hermès, how much?
Surpassing inflation, the current price tag on a 90 cm silk square purchased in an Hermès store is $410 plus local tax, more than triple the retail price of 25 years ago. Diehard collectors of the Hermès silk scarf chase down certain rare examples, designers, and color ways that send the price tag soaring well above retail, into thousands of dollars.
Genuine Hermès, for less
How to own an authentic Hermès scarf for a fraction of the ever-increasing price? You can tie one on for less by shopping online with a designer consigner who has carefully curated and authenticated the merchandise. As the cliché goes, one woman’s trash is another’s treasure, hence the designer consignment route is the way to go, with some stores providing shipping nationwide.
Michael Hillord, a San Francisco-based designer label and vintage expert says, “Our clients rely on us to sell their new and nearly-new Hermès silk squares to customers who will cherish them. An excellent, authentic Hermès scarf from $185, or a superb example with the original box for $225, are our typical price points at Simply Chic.” To get everyone in the mood, the consignment store at the corner of San Francisco’s Union Street and Fillmore Street is hosting a “Scarf Tying Event” to launch their curated spring collection of clothing, shoes, and handbags from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, and of course, Hermès.