Whether it’s Kim Kardashian buying a $100,000 purse or a photographer burning one for the sake of art, Hermès’ coveted bags create a stir whenever they are mentioned.The 2011 documentary “Hearts and Crafts,” directed by documentary filmmaker Frederic Laffont, depicts daily life inside a Hermès factory in France where bags, glass goods, drawings, and leather saddles for horseback riding are crafted.
In a month, the Hermès staff can produce 15 hand-crafted bags of different styles and textures. The bags range from $10,000 to $150,000 depending on the size and material used. Last year, the company said it was hiring 400 people to keep up with demand.
Because they took so long to produce, there was at one time a wait list for the popular Birkin bag.
The bags come with a hefty price tag, but growth in the second quarter of 2012 was up 21.9 per cent. The label has come a long way since its start in a Paris workshop in 1837.
So how, exactly, are Hermès’ bags made? Watch the full documentary here, or click through to see.
The entire bag-making process starts with the leather cutter. Here, he inspects the crocodile leather to determine which pieces are ideal for a bag.
And heated to extreme temperatures. In order to be employed as a craftsman at the factory, workers have to pass a few exams.
These two women are making the handle of the bag. They use a mallet to flatten it out and ensure the handle is smooth.
In another section of the factory, Hermès produces drawings. This woman said she spent 1,500 to 2,000 hours on a drawing.
The drawers mostly sketch and outline in black and white. colour is added later. This man is airbrushing a drawing.
Next, it's laid to dry. This man inspects the project, while the fan helps speed the drying process.
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