In 2010, sixth-generation Hermès family member Pascale Mussard established petit h, a design workshop that expands the possibilities of luxury craftsmanship at the house by reclaiming unused textiles and transforming them into whimsical objects, ornaments, and oddities infused with the same artistry as that of the historic atelier. “It came instinctively to me,” says Mussard. “Hermès is part of my DNA and formed the backdrop of my childhood. I wanted to find a way to keep and transform the things that defined who I am.”
In the past 6 years, Mussard has turned dream into a reality by cultivating a team of guest artists and designers who all share the belief that “materials are imbued with life” and that work tirelessly to breathe new energy into archival fabrics and other essential elements from the main line such as porcelain handles, clasps, and leather straps. The result: a continuously expanding line of products that are practical, useful, and—of course—utterly original.
This holiday season, Hermès invites viewers to experience the wonders of its petit h factory inside the Madison Avenue boutique in New York. From now until January 7th 2017, the storefront windows will be transformed into a magical Advent calendar, where each day new surprises, gifts, and goods from the petit h workshop will be revealed to passersby. The display marks a very special collaboration between Mussard and her son, artist Alexandre Mussard, who is designing for the house for the first time. On scenography he explains, “I was interested in showing the secret window, the magical aspects of time, the game you played as a child. Everything is art depending on the way you look at objects and materials. You can create amazing objects with any type of material found in the world.”
For Ms. Mussard, the decision to invite her son to design for petit h was a gift in it of itself. “It was really special to work with [Alexandre] on this project and to see his vision carried out,” she says. “I was excited to see that the theme of the windows derived from the advent calendar. He used to have one as a child, so it was really unique to explore the magical potential later in his life.”
When visitors enter the boutique, they will be transported to the floor of the workshop itself, where artists and designers will explain the unique process that goes into creating an object from the petit h universe. Afterwards, guests are encouraged to take part in the creation of their own holiday ornaments using materials from the petit h factory.
In addition to the festivities at Hermès Madison Avenue, petit h will host pop-up versions of its holiday factory at the Hermès Wall Street boutique on December 10 and 11, 2016, and at the Hermès Parfumerie from December 16 – 18, 2016.