ILLUSTRATION HERMÈS
WORDS
COVER IMAGE

Enigma – just like puzzles and riddles, Hermès is complicated

Metalanguage, according to Bateson. Based on the very essence of lexicon, word games play with poetry – the windows of the thirteen Hermès boutiques in Italy are inspired by a classic Italian pastime: the Settimana Enigmistica

The windows of the thirteen Hermès boutiques in Italy will be inspired by the Settimana Enigmistica, a classic Italian pastime since 1932. A riddle created with a mix of graphics and objects from the collection, a crossword with lenticular-printed letters and a wooden maze for marbles and silk creations by this maison. For those who love drawing a blast from the past is provided by the window that invites passers-by to join the dots, revealing a Kelly bag, a sandal and a bracelet.

“What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three at close of day?” the Sphinx asked Oedipus. “Man.” This is the oldest riddle in history. An obvious meaning and a hidden one. Word games come between the reality we live in and the metaphor we imagine. When we play, we know that nothing is as it seems—metafiction, metalanguage, according to Bateson. Based on the very essence of lexicon, word games play with poetry.

Just like puzzles and riddles, Hermès is complicated. In an age when nearly everyone follows the market logics of speed and simplification, Hermès goes countertrend and, following a different, more complex, direction, this autumn invites us to play. The creative theme chosen by this French fashion house for its global communication in 2018 is word games—all its branches worldwide will interpret this idea in their own way.

Word Games are reasoning, sophistication and a search for what is hidden. Not to be played alone. For Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Artistic Director at Hermès, this theme was chosen “because it is a way of enjoying the company of others, because it helps us discover ourselves and others, it is giving room to chance. Because at the same time it means having control and letting go. How can we create, invent or even imagine, if we do not play?” The first playmate at Hermès was a horse—the saddle maker Thierry Hermès opened a saddlery and horse tack shop in Paris 180 years ago.

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