the third chapter of Hermès Beauté
‘The hand is the epitome of care. It is our partner, our eye, our identity. It is both powerful and delicate. The hand makes, creates, gives life. It is also symbolic of our relationship with others. The hand is a supremely civilising influence that transforms us and connects us to each other.’
— Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès
Hands express our thoughts and feelings. They show our personality and tell a story—a very personal story. They also visualize know-how and creations: An essence in the house of HERMÈS. The hands are used to create things, to embellish and to work with materials. They are associated with a tradition inseparable from horse riding and Hermès saddlery. Hands are the reflection of the self, the instruments of instruments, according to Aristotle. The Les Mains Hermès collection is a testament to the attention paid to all these hands; it is the messenger and guarantor of their everyday beauty, from care to color.
“[The hand] has no gender, it signals behaviours, it is the hand of the rider or the artisan. It is both powerful and delicate. The hand is like the Hermès horse, trusting us and taking us where we want to go”, explains Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director at Hermès. The rider moves as one with their horse, without impeding it in any way. They apply the whip hand and the bridle hand, and work to keep the horse on the bit to ensure it holds its profile vertically—this holds true for the hand at Hermès: it is unique, universal and attached to traditions and values.
This new chapter of Hermès Beauty opens with a collection in which care and beauty echo each other: A complete hand care cream, a nourishing oil for nails and cuticles, a protective base coat, nail enamels, a top coat and a set of nail files compose a beauty repertoire combining care and color—a continuation of the blush and lipstick collections, ROUGE HERMÈS and ROSE HERMÈS.
Characteristically for the house, everything in this collection is also carefully conceived. The hand cream has been meticulously tested with the artisans creating leather bags to ensure that the cream is absorbed quickly enough to touch a valuable piece of leather afterwards.
The nail polish comes in 24 colors inspired by the nuances and radiance of the enamel. The number, twenty-four, refers to the 24 Faubourg Saint-Honoré—the parent house in Paris since 1880. References to the Hermès heritage are hidden everywhere, especially in the color names. Orange Boîte is included, of course, the dynamic color that adorns the house’s signature boxes since 1942, along with Brun Bistre, the deep shade that accentuates the border of each orange box. Part of the series are also various shades of red, three of which relate directly to the history of the maison. Rouge Casaque is a vibrant, dense and radiant red, evoking the silk garment worn by jockeys. Rouge Amazone, a warm-toned brick red, inspired by the ceremonial harnesses created by Hermès in 1894 for the white horses of the Chinese Empress Cixi. And Rouge H created originally in 1925 for leather goods—a very elegant dark red with a hint of brown, verging on burgundy. Other colors invite to dream and awake longings to certain places, as in Vert Égyptien, a nuanced emerald green which evokes reflections of mirages in the Nile Valley under the palm trees of Luxor and Aswan.
Hermès is a house of objects—visually, the Les Mains collection fits neatly into the house’s aesthetic. In a graphic interplay of white and gold bottles and lids, pure and distinctive shapes bring this art of usefulness in beauty to life. As in previous collections, the Hermès ex-libris acts like a hallmark. As Pierre Hardy, creator of Hermès Beauty objects, illustrates: “This new collection builds on the natural and sophisticated nature of the first gesture, Rouge Hermès. While make-up can be fun, whimsical or dramatic, Hermès care is designed like an intimate and pure essential object. We move from centre stage to the wings, with objects that are not on display, but that are kept literally to hand.”
Introduced for the first time at the beginning of 2020, Hermès Beauty has become a signature métier for the house—easily accessible to a wider audience. Since then, objects, materials, colors and gestures are engaged in a new and perpetual interplay of affinities and connections. Rouge Hermès opened the way for Rose Hermès, followed by the third chaper in 2021 with Les Mains Hermès. Connoisseurs are already awaiting the next chapter.
‘The hand is the house’s foremost and most favoured tool. Generous, joyful, open to the world, it is part of lexicon of attitudes. We speak of a leather’s good hand to evoke its roundness in the hand, or the squeak of a roll of hide when it is crumpled. The Hermès hand is intuitive, expert, and eloquent.’
— Menehould de Bazelaire, director of cultural heritage at Hermès
The enamel base coat is the first step of the ritual.
Its smooth texture, in translucent white, unifies and protects the nails and extends the longevity of the polish. Perfected by this invisible satin softness, the nails are prepared for the application of color.
The top coat is the final touch. Its transparent gel lacquer texture produces a long-lasting high-gloss finish. The color is encased in a protective shell for durability. Nails shine with a mirror polish, optimizing light without encumbering the surface, giving a curved effect of depth.
In addition to the 24 nail polishes, nourishing oil, base coat and top coat,
the LE MAINS series also includes a set of nail files and
a hand cream to complete the perfect manicure.
shot on film for TDR
in partnership with HERMÈS