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Hermès Petit h atelier, Paris

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The ‘Ali Baba cave’, full of bits and bobs that were rejected, discontinued or defected.

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Even the tiniest of fault in a Hermès bag would be rejected and sent to Petit h for re-purposing

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Stools with re-purposed scarves and croc leather

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Silk-covered mobile

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Leather pleating detailing on a vase, which is now adapted at other ateliers at Hermès

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The store on Rue de Sèvres

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Studio-shot photos courtesy of Hermès

The little sister that wanders the garden to collect acorns and bright-coloured leaves, and sits at the foot of her mother’s sewing table and picks up scraps – buttons, fabrics, ribbons- to store them all in a special place… that’s Hermès Petit h for you. She makes dolls out of discarded socks and fills them with scrap yarn, carves out the pages of an old book to make a secret box… some of her knick-knacks even have names and stories. Championed by Pascale Mussard, great-great-great-granddaugher of the saddle-maker Thierry Hermès, Petit h was a solution to the materials that were discarded, discontinued, or refused by Grand H - Hermès, which, by policy, would normally be destroyed or burnt without exception, belt buckles to Birkins. Open in 2010, it has since been a treasure cove of flawed materials from all the ateliers, and a laboratory where these materials breathed new life as absolutely unique, one-off pieces. A team of six multi-disciplinary artisans act as treasure-hunters, most well seasoned in the Hermès tradition of impeccable craftsmanship but also a few younger apprentices that Mussard believes can instil fresher takes on design.

Speaking with Pascale Mussard in the Petit h atelier, it’s astonishing, because she is that ‘little sister’. Her face animates as she tells us about her love for collecting and takes us through her life story of growing up in post-war France, being frugal but also creative with the things you have. She recalls fondly how she and her mother would imagine up new recipes using leftovers, or make play costumes with leather scrounged from the ateliers. Even during her years at Hermès she had set aside rooms and rooms to collect paraphernalia: fabrics, leathers… which would eventually evolve into the official archive of Hermes. I’ve never met anyone as passionate, I think. Ultimately, her joy of saving, taking care, and re-inventing/up-cycling would give way for treasures via Petit h. It’s been over a year since I visited the Hermès Atelier Sacs and saw a Constance bag creep into my very grown-up wish-list, but I have a feeling Petit h will be a delight to my inner child for years to come.

Petit h is setting up camp in the Bond Street store starting 20th November through till the 7th December, and let’s just say, as far as Hermès pricing goes, this may be the ideal time to start your collection. The space is being designed in collaboration with Studio Toogood, which also lends a good excuse just to pop by for a good oogle.

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27 Comments

  1. Gwen

    Wow! *sigh*

    Reply

  2. The colours are so vibrant, and I love the detailed pictures.

    I’m always surprised at how far you have come with your blog! Lucky indeed to be able to speak with Pascale Mussard – thank you for sharing :D

    Reply

  3. Beautiful article! I’m in love with Petit h for many many reasons, but most of all their concept of never discarding scraps and repurposing to make anew is simply awe-inspiring!

    There’s a wonderful inside the studio video avail as well:
    http://youtu.be/NZVBC2XrAPw

    P.s. I too am now on the hunt for a Constance!! : )

    Reply

  4. Love this type of atelier, full of little treasures and things and colors …
    La parenthèse Enchantée.fr

    Reply

  5. What a wonderland! Amazing photos, I love the “card” table.

    The Fashann Monster

    Reply

  6. Wow, didn’t know this place existed, it all looks so creative! Love those covered wooden stools especially..

    Katie x

    Reply

  7. I’ve been dying to see these photos ever since I saw your Instagram photo a while back. Eeeiikk, what a dream to wonder that space for a little while!

    xxx Carin

    Reply

  8. amazingl!

    xoxo from rome
    K.
    kcomekarolina.com

    Reply

  9. Oooh such a fascinating insight, I’m still crying for all the burnt Birkins though…

    Reply

  10. Lucky girl, this is so awesome. sigh…if only I could visit.

    xo
    http://pinksole.com

    Reply

  11. Lovely post! It’s amazing to see labels like Hermes creating new and unique pieces from discarded fabrics.

    xx Nicole
    http://npk-blog.blogspot.com

    Reply

  12. Can’t wait to visit the exhibition! It will be amazing…
    http://ladysarahinlondon.wordpress.com

    Reply

  13. I love that they do this, and the whole idea that it’s also one off pieces are fantastic!! Amazing post yet again Shini! I only visited the Hermes sac atelier on a school trip and was already blown away on how meticulous they treated and cared for the leather, and how there is a team of people who decides which part of which leather goes on which part of the bag, the details and crafts and time that go into making these (in my opinion) justifies the cost.

    Reply

  14. Amazing photos!

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

    Reply

  15. […] post Petit h appeared first on PARK & […]

  16. This is incredible and great to know that scraps of good quality fabric is being used to make unique pieces. Will definitely check it out at Bond Street next week. Looking forward

    http://www.chariscity.blogspot.com

    Reply

  17. This is amazing, wow! Fascinating post.

    Reply

  18. sarah

    great captures of what looks like an amazing experience! i very much love the smiling lady’s cup necklace and those leather windmills! kudos to hermes for upcycling their treasured scraps.

    Reply

  19. Aww, that’s such a unique and impressive idea! How beautiful, I really need to have a look. :)

    Reply

  20. Aww I just love the purple vase, it’s so beautiful. Great pictures Shini, all these bright colours are delightful.
    Mafalda ❤
    http://www.mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr

    Reply

    replied:

    And BTW, thanks for your nice comment on my blog yesterday, I was so happy and honoured (you’re a star to me!), that I woke my husband up and danced like a pixie in my living-room!

    Reply

  21. Amazing atelier, amazing photos!

    http://www.hannoverfashion.com

    Reply

  22. I had never heard of this line before, but the story is amazing and fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Shani x
    http://shedreamsinperfectfrench.com

    Reply

  23. Oh wow. What I’d give to be a fly on the wall there. I fell in love with Hermes more than a decade ago and am lucky enough to own a handful of items. I hope one day, they’ll be passed on to my daughter who in turn will hand them down to the next generation. Since she has declared at age 7 that she’ll never marry or have children, that may be a bit doubtful….

    Reply

  24. […] on my Bloglovin’ app and read this great feature with lots of visuals about Hermes’ Petit H Atelier in Paris.  I love looking at people’s studios and sketchbooks because they give a real and raw insight […]

  25. Thans fo the post. You are indeed a lucky person to speak to this talented lady of Arts.

    For Pascale Mussard, you are really talented. Your ideas of making creativity from discarded things is just amazing. I love it :) Keep posting your upcoming arts please.

    Check out Bollywood Sarees Online
    a real Indian Fashion

    Reply

  26. […] For most luxury brands, exclusivity is king, but slowly, some luxury brands have been offering different takes on luxury – something that isn’t mass produced in factories but that is an alternative type of luxury – free luxury and upcycled luxury.  For decades since its inception, luxury brand Hermes did not re-use any of its offcuts, remnants or even any partly flawed designs.  In fact, they were often destroyed as it was thought that by including these within their products, the products would not longer be as exclusive or as perfect. In 2010, this all changed when Pascale Mussard (one of the Hermes family) decided to find a use for all of the scrap materials.  She came up with the fantastic idea of Petit-H - a separate line as part of Hermes that would create one-off items and upcycle these materials.  These are some photographs from the blog Park & Cube: […]