The meaning is clear. An Hermès bag is 100% made in France: the investments of recent years in leather goods in the Hexagon prove it. But Hermès footwear needs Italy. What’s more, it just can’t do without it. Because, as Guillaume de Seynes, Hermès production manager, explains to La Stampa, the boot has preserved a footwear production chain that France, quite simply, no longer has. And that is why it cannot even be reactivated.
“Our shoes need Italy”
The interviewer asks de Seynes: “Is your production 100% made in France?”. The answer is illuminating. “For leather goods, yes, because we have developed a very high level of production”. And for the other product categories? “We look for excellence where it exists,” continues the manager, “and Italy is obviously very important. Your country has been able to preserve an exceptional production chain for footwear, which we no longer have in France. And so, we manufacture all our shoes in Italy”. And that’s not all: Hermès also has its materials supply chain in Italy. We also have important suppliers for fabrics, cashmere and for the production of clothing,” says de Seynes, “and we get a lot of leather from Italy. We even own a tannery in Cuneo that specialises in exotic leathers” (Michel Rettili, controlled through the HCP group, ed.).
For Hermès, the watchword is quality. And it is the same reason why the group, while producing on an industrial scale, does not employ workers, but craftsmen. “Each bag will be manufactured from start to finish by the same person: this gives a soul to that object – concludes de Seynes -. The craftsman even puts his signature on it, with a personal seal”.