Photography | Norman-Wilcox Geissen
Set Design | Lune Kuipers
Text | Helena Yeung
""petit h shows that the future is not merely one of new human creations, but also one where humans can creatively conceive of innovative ideas using existing things.""
A creation in reverse—the mantra of Hermès’ petit h collection. Featuring objects, clothing and accessories born out of existing materials handed down from other métiers, petit h is a creative expression that focuses on the second life of things. Challenging the house’s more traditional and established codes is an alternative design process encouraging innovative interpretations that breathe life into materials which would have otherwise been considered leftovers, by harnessing the creativity of Hermès’ artists, designers and craftsmen. Each petit h piece is a unique, limited run creation that presents a refreshing and whimsical facet of Hermès’ vast range of offerings.
According to Hermès, petit h is “a way of believing in life—the life of things.” The collection playfully sidesteps traditional processes. Rather than starting purely from concept, artisans are invited to also gather ideas and inspirations from the materials they are working with, and their previous lives as other objects. With a penchant for quality goods, Hermès is known for its highly-sought after and timeless pieces—and petit h is no different. But the stories behind a piece make each object a unique exploration in problem solving and creativity, a reflection of each artisan’s thinking process.
Beginning the petit h design process at the end of a life cycle sets a premise for creative solutions in approaching leftovers, proving that everything has the chance for a second life. Creating everything from giant stuffed toys, skateboards, salt shakers to pendants, petit h is a family of objects that share one common thread: they are made of materials reincarnated, enabled through human ingenuity and creativity. Fun and unexpected items are made when an artisan’s creativity is unleashed. Freedom to create allows for new and unexpected ideas, making for quirky and humorous knick knacks.
What is more human than pure creativity, the type unbarred by restrictions or expectations, led by ideas and processes, inspired by the life of things? In petit h, afterthoughts meet the power of creativity. Through the second life of things, Hermès harnesses the human capacity for innovation, resulting in a sustainable solution that inspires us to think outside of the box. petit h’s mantra of “a creation in reverse” is a case study of what happens when we let our imagination run free, unbarred by traditional thoughts and processes we’ve acclimatized ourselves to—perfectly illustrated by the brand’s humorous and interesting trinkets and collectibles
Opening Image: Mushroom paperweight in calfskin creation Godefroy de Virieu for petit h