As a luxury consultant and Hermes being my favourite brand you must have imagined how excited i was to come across a book on Hermes. As an avid collector and someone who is passionate about the brand finding books talking about the history of Hermes is very rare. To love Hermes is not just about the bag but is understanding whats behind the brand, what goes in to making a bag. After understanding this you will come to realise the artisans who make the bags are artists. And each bag not only hold its value but goes up in time. Just like art. To find someone who shares an interest, understanding and passion about the brand is always a treat. It gives me no greater pleasure but to introduce you to the author of Vintage Hermes, Arnoud Last.
RM: : Can you tell us about we can expect to read and see in your book Vintage Hermes?
AL:As you know Hermès is one of the most exclusive luxury brands in the world, and Vintage Hermès is the first book ever published that gives every Hermès aficionado detailed insight into the multitude of modifications that have taken place over time on three of the most coveted Hermès handbag models; the Birkin, the Constance and the Kelly. From zippers and variations in hardware, to the specific types of straps and alterations in stamp placement, this exquisitely crafted coffee table book vividly illustrates how these models have evolved over time. Inside you’ll find 340 thick high gloss pages featuring a virtual treasure trove of collectible Hermès pieces, in vibrant colors. I wanted the book to reflect the integrity of the brand in its presentation, so each hardcover book is handcrafted in Europe with special embossing, gilded edges and silk placement ribbons, making it the perfect gift for the Hermès connoisseur as well as any luxury buff you know.
RM: How was the idea to write such an extraordinary book come about?
AL: When Hermès emerged as a major portion of our business, I decided to register each and every bag in my notebook and began an intensive multi-year study of the thousands of handbags that physically and virtually passed through my hands. Then I cataloged that information. When I noticed that my colleagues liked using my notebook and were often coming to me with questions, it hit me that I should create a book. The rest is history!
RM: : If you could a bag which was your favourite from Hermes what would it be?
AL: To me that is an easy choice as I am a huge fan of the sellier version of the Hermès Kelly bag. Where many high end brands have launched models that are often inspired by models of their fellow designers, the sellier Kelly bag has an unprecedented iconic chique presence. A close second will be the Flèche d’Or as this clutch just oozes character and features so many little details that Hermès has applied for generations. Each Flèche d’Or is simply a mini work of art where character, craftsmanship and the Hermès signature come together in one.
RM: Tell us a bit about you, Arnoud Last?
AL: I was born in the The Nederlands where I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Marketing from one of the top four international schools for hotel management in The Hague. My passion for the aesthetics and artistic craftsmanship found within select luxury goods began as a child, hence it’s probably no surprise that I brokered high-end watches and other collectible goods in order to help pay for my tuition.
With my early love of brokering exclusive goods still very much alive, I refreshed my passion for the secondary luxury market back in 2008 and invested in 8leafs.com, a vehicle to provide superior personalized service for elite collectors and consumers wishing to sell and trade their effects.
RM: : What is about Hermes that has made you so passionate about the brand?
AL: Hermès products are made using old school craftsmanship. For example, Hermès leather products are composed with superior ingredients that have to pass a meticulous selection process. Where many (luxury) products available in society were made to last a lifetime 20 years ago, today too many of them have a tendency to break down sooner then we expect. That is not the case however with Hermès. Because of the quality of the handbags and the way they are manufactured for instance, they will still last a lifetime when given the tender loving care they deserve. I simply adore the perfume of passion and pride that soars each and every time I open an orange Hermès box or simply hold an Hermès bag.
RM: For those people who may not fully understand the brand, what would you tell them that makes Hermes of the best luxury brands in the world?
AL: I am of the opinion that the commitment of Hermès leadership to stay true to craftsmanship and quality is second to none. Where many brands chose to divert to low labour countries and/or automated production processes to boost volume and reduce cost, Hermès has continued to manufacture locally and manually in order to maintain their high standards. To me, Hermès cruises in very exclusive waters together with Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe & Chateaux Petrus to name a fellow companions in that elite league. This dedication to quality is recognized by many collectors around the globe, and reflected by the very high trade in values for preloved Hermès products in the secondary market, providing proof that Hermès products make good investments too.
RM: Can we expect to see any more books from you in the future?
AL:Yes, I am currently in the process of finalizing the manuscript for my second book on Hermès. The publisher is scheduling it to launch by fall 2016.
To purchase your very own copy of Vintage Hermes please click here…