THE DE­CODER

… is the price of this de­signer skate­board by Her­mès. Here’s what makes it the ul­ti­mate ac­ces­sory

The National - News - Luxury - - CONTENTS -

Why the new de­signer skate­board by Her­mès is a col­lec­tor’s item

As be­fit­ting a brand that spe­cialises in dis­creet, ex­cep­tion­ally ex­pen­sive sub­ver­sion,

French fash­ion house Her­mès has un­veiled a col­lec­tion of skate­boards and long­boards. In the same vein as Chanel’s snow­board and Saint Lau­rent’s stiletto-roller skates (although, ad­mit­tedly, the lat­ter are just for show), the Her­mès skate­board takes an item straight from the street and gives it a lux­ury makeover. It was per­haps only a mat­ter of time be­fore Her­mès made the leap from sad­dles and skip­ping ropes to skate­boards;

how­ever, as with ev­ery­thing that the brand does, the qual­ity here is su­perb. Avail­able in two sizes, skate­board and long­board, and in three de­signs, these wheeled ob­jets d’art are made from seven lay­ers of lam­i­nated Vos­ges maple and flax. Maple is known for its flex­i­bil­ity and light­ness, mak­ing it ideal for skate­boards. In this in­stance, the top­side of the board is dec­o­rated with a Caval­cadour pat­tern. It was first en­vis­aged by Her­mès’s leg­endary artis­tic di­rec­tor Henri d’Origny, who has been be­hind many of the house’s most recog­nis­able mo­tifs since he joined in 1958. This par­tic­u­lar pat­tern is in­spired by the belts and buck­les from horse rid­ing tack, and has adorned scarves, pocket squares, ties, and now a skate­board. Skate­board­ing is be­lieved to have been in­vented in Cal­i­for­nia some­time in the late 1940s or early 1950s, by bored surfers.

Look­ing to recre­ate the feel­ing of rid­ing waves when there were none, some­one came up with the idea of nail­ing wheels to a plank of wood, and the skate­board was born. Re­fined many times since then, it has now of­fi­cially made its way into the world of high fash­ion. Skate­boards are short and light, of­fer­ing enough flex­i­bil­ity needed for tricks, while long­boards are longer and used for cruis­ing and rac­ing. This baby is prob­a­bly best suited to the half­pipe, but, given its size­able price tag, it’ll be a brave soul who takes it out of the house. The skate­board will be avail­able from late Septem­ber, on­line and in se­lect Her­mès bou­tiques world­wide.

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