Hermès is the longest running company in this catalog. Founded by Thierry Hermès in 1837, the House of Hermès was then a shop for making horse harnesses in Paris. European royalties cherished Hermès’ craft in saddle stitching.
The first ever leather handbag under the brand of Hermès was actually made by Émile-Maurice Hermès. He was the grandson of the founding father of the company. This genesis of the now famous Birkin bag enterprise sprung from the thought of Émile-Maurice wanting to please his wife. Apparently, after searching around Paris, his wife just wasn’t able to find one that she liked. And the current president of Hermès, being the romantic that he is, created one just for his beloved wife.
More than a hundred years later, the empire of Hermès is still being handled by the family’s bloodline. The present Artistic Director of Hermès, Pierre Alexis Dumas, belongs to the sixth generation of the founding family.
The most luxurious jewelry and watch conglomerate Cartier was founded by Louis-François Cartier in 1847. In these early times, only women wear wristwatches while the men have pocket watches. But after listening to his friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont, who was a Brazilian aviator, everything changed. Santos-Dumont complained about the lack of practicality of having a pocket watch. So in 1904, Cartier presented his new creation “Santos,” which was his first men’s wristwatch. This was just the start of Cartier’s influence on society’s earlier elite culture.
Aldo Cipullo, a notable jewelry designer, created the famous Cartier Love Bracelet in 1969. He was said to be inspired by the symbolism of the medieval chastity belts that were used in the 16th century. These Love Bracelets represent the devotion and fidelity of a couple to each other. The Cartier Love Bracelets have solid cuffs secured by a lock mechanism only to be opened by the given Cartier Love Bracelets screwdrivers. These screwdrivers were meant to be kept safe by one’s significant other so only they can open the other’s Love Bracelet. Legend says that some hospitals located in New York have these Cartier Love Bracelet screwdrivers in case of emergency.
Louis Vuitton, greatly known for their bags, luggage, shoes, and accessories, was founded by its namesake in 1854. To date, the largest Louis Vuitton shop is located in 101 avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The 1,800-square-meter store contains couture, ready-to-wear clothes, and accessories.
The House of Louis Vuitton is generous towards press relations, and celebrities. They give newly made bags before presenting them on the runway. LV’s bags are meticulously tested to guarantee their durability and functionality. The bags are filled with 3.5 kilograms of weight, dropped by a machine a number of times, zipped open and close 5000 times, and treated with full ultraviolet to verify their quality.
Chanel is a high fashion company founded by Coco Chanel in 1909. Coco was the first to create clothes that were both fashionable, and comfortable. She never liked the restriction that was caused by wearing corsets. So in 1925, she launched the first Chanel suit. It was a collarless jacket that was elegantly tailored.
Coco Chanel also delved into crafting handbags inspired by soldiers’ bags, and the fabric of racing jockeys’ jackets in 1929.
A fun fact: If you shop regularly at Chanel, you may get your own mannequin. Clients of the House of Chanel regularly received by appointment have their wooden mannequins made with their exact body measurements.
The luxury goods company Dior was founded in 1946 by Christian Dior. The first address of Dior was at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. This location was chosen for its close proximity to a hotel well known for its foreign clients.
Miss Dior, with its floral scent of Grasse, rose, jasmine grandiflorum, and patchouli was the very first fragrance Christian Dior launched in 1947. The collection of scents were inspired by Dior and his sister Catherine’s early memories of their flower garden in Grasse.
Flowers have been a focal point to the Dior brand over the years. The floral design is present in every collection made by the company; starting from their products to the little details like set designs of runways.
I certainly hope this article helped you in figuring out which brands you gonna go shopping on your next visit to Paris!
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out other interesting Blog posts like:
- Top 10 French Dishes
- Top 10 French Restaurants in Paris
- Top 10 French French-Speaking Cities to Visit
And don’t forget to leave us a comment telling us which is your favorite brand 🙂