Each saddle is handmade by a single artisan and requires around 35 hours of work and care.
The experts at Hermès work very closely with the rider and their horse to identify the model of saddle that fits their riding style and needs.
The saddler gently touches the soft leather like a horseneck – careful, elegant but also precise. It’s a foggy day in Paris, but it fits the romantic mood of the saddlery perfectly. Located at the upper floors of the HERMÈS boutique at 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the saddle-making workshops are doing their craft since 1880.The old building feels like a labyrinth with mezzanines and low ceilings – slightly moved a little out of time with a nostalgic vibe. The atelier feels calm but also vivid: components of unfinished saddles, craftsmen’s tools, rows of saddles, smaller prototypes or show-pieces for the boutique vitrines are displayed everywhere, accentuated with a soft sound of hammering.
Each saddle is handmade by a single artisan and requires around 35 hours of work and care. The experts at Hermès work very closely with the rider and their horse to identify the model of saddle that fits their riding style and needs. The saddle experts goes to the customer’s stable and takes measures – the artisan is making the saddle in the workshop.
Started with a first meeting, the saddler gets to know the morphology of the rider and the horse – to create a perfect und unique saddle which is comfortable for both. Quality comes first. Hermès only uses full-grain leather. A long-lasting material which gets even more beautiful over time.
Since 1909, every saddle made at Hermès has been registered in a book, recorded with a number, including a list of the saddle specifications and measurements, the year the saddle was manufactured, the saddle-makers name and the name of the customer – so they will never be forgotten. The saddles combine the panache of traditional saddlery know-how, passed down from generation to generation – with modernity and contemporary design.
Every saddle made at Hermès has been registered in a book.
One main reason for the long durability of a Hermès saddle is the typical ‘saddle stitch’, where two needles – coated in beeswax – looparound each other to create a strong andelegant and accurate seam. A technique which is also used on the details of accessories, shoes and clothes by the house.
24 rue due Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Hermès Boutique
Shot on location October 23rd, 2019