Hermes has opened the doors of its Leather Forever exhibition, a celebration of its heritage based in London.
Designer Alexandra Plat has created a dazzling display paying tribute to Hermes history. A giant neon Kelly bag sculpture displays the various incarnations of Hermes' classic Kelly and Birkin bags.
There's also an artisan room, which features two of the label's esteemed craftspeople hard at work. These artisans undertake formal leathergoods training and an additional four years schooling in Hermes' methods before ever creating a handbag, so it's amazing to watch them in action. In fact, Hermes' UK and Ireland managing director Thierry Outin says the lengthy training process is the reason why the covetable Birkin and Kelly bags are in such short supply!
But the showstopper must be the room housing Hermes bespoke treasures, including a calfskin wheelbarrow commissioned by the Duke of Windsor for his beloved Wallis Simpson, and a winged saddle crafted for a Japanese rock band.
Attendees can also see the four UK themed Hermes Passe-Guide handbags which will be auctioned off later this month.
It might seem strange for the French label to celebrate its 175 years in the United Kingdom. However as 2012 is the year of the Queen's Jubilee and Summer Olympics it makes sense for the fashion firm to be amongst all that action.
The Leather Forever display will stay at the Royal Academy’s Burlington Gardens galleries until May 27. And unlike everything else that bears the Hermes name, admission is free.
Hermes Handbags on eBay
Sorry we couldn't find anything like this on eBay. Try our Bag Search Engine.