Hermès has collaborated with SA’s own Ardmore Ceramics to create some of the most breathtaking the French manufacturer has so far produced
When images of two new Hermès scarves surfaced last week, created in collaboration with local design house Ardmore Ceramics, the fashion world found itself gasping in awe, and a subsequent neck-clutching desire paralysis took over.
The scarves are the first in a series of cocreated objects due for release this year, and will be the first time any design house in Africa has collaborated with the 179-year-old multibillion-rand company. If the first two scarves are anything to go by, this might just be Hermès’ finest collaboration.
The larger of the two in the series of scarves (carrés, as they are known) is made from the silk of 250 mulberry moths and is handstitched and coloured in dedicated scarf headquarters in Lyon, France, where Hermès farms its silk.
The sprawling piece, titled La Marche du Zambèze (a 90cm x 90cm beauty) features an elephant, which the Hermès website says “symbolises family and power”, around which animals and flora of the Zambezi rotate. The other, called The Savana Dance, shows a vervet monkey being chased by a leopard at the centre, and is interwoven with huge proteas and Zulu symbols. They both come in nine colours, so the designs look different each time.
Designer Megan Berning worked with her sister, Catherine, and her mother, Fée Halsted (the founder of Ardmore), to bring the work of Ardmore artists Zinhle and Jabu Nene, Sidney Nyambeze and Virginia Xaba to life.
Megan told #Trending this week: “When my mom met with the Hermès design team after they proposed a collaboration at a meeting at an exhibition of ours in Paris, they asked if we could come up with the scarf design. So we worked on canvas, drawing inspiration from pictures they showed us of what they had in mind.
“We wanted to give them a sense of Ardmore, but also include the sense of our creative spirit in Africa.”
It is said 25 Hermès scarves are sold every second, so you better get one now – but considering the current exchange rate (they retail for about R6 500) and the fact that they cannot be bought at Hermès branches in South Africa, us mere mortals might just have to admire this historic moment from afar.
Shop at hermes.com
The giant new Hermes scarf from the Spring/Summer 2016 Collection has been produced in collaboration with local design house Ardmore Ceramics
LA MARCHE DU ZAMBÈZE