The Hermès Scarf: History & Mystique

A new book takes an inside look at the classic French scarf's rustic heritage and modern day designs

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As an essential accessory to luxury lifestyles, the Hermès scarf has symbolized twentieth century beauty, wealth and fantasy since its creation in 1937.

The new book “The Hermès Scarf: History and Mystique” documents the rise of this fashion institution through essays about the company’s inception as well as in-depth examinations of the inimitable scarf’s design, complimented by stunning pictures of the many patterns and prints making up their 2,000-strong collection.

From 18th century maps to neo-Grecian embroidery and scarves inspired by M.C. Escher and Piet Mondrian, “The Hermès Scarf” reads as a cultural briefing reconfigured onto silk.

In Pierre-Alexis Dumas’ forward, the third generation Hermès owner emphasizes the playful side of the company and strong familial ties that began with his grandfather, Robert Dumas and his son Jean-Louis. “Never wavering in their quest or anticipating their own success, simply devoting themselves with bold enthusiasm to a mission that was always a pleasure, that of bringing the Hermès scarf into existence, first Robert [Dumas] then Jean-Louis Dumas and their band of colleagues created an accessory that has become a landmark in the history of style.”

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In the accompanying essay “The Story of the Scarf,” fashion writer Nadine Coleno describes Hermès as “Simple and open in spirit, free of pretension and prejudice, forming a natural bridge between past and future, between function and appearance.”


Pre-order the book from Amazon or buy it from Thames & Hudson on its 15 July 2010 release date. See more images in the gallery below.