The Maroquinerie de Louviers: A New Exciting Chapter in Hermès’ Long and Storied History of Craftsmanship

As Hermès’ history is recounted with much enthusiasm, we learn that the ‘Maroquinerie’ is the latest endeavor in a long line of projects meant to strengthen the house’s local anchoring and preserve Normandian traditions and culture. “We are proud to invest in the region and to create jobs for skilled artisans who share the brand’s passion for excellence,” says our guide. Operating since January 2023, the workshop already has 170 artisans and is set to welcome up to 260 in the next few years. Trained in traditional techniques, which include hand-stitching, at the local apprenticeship training center, they are not only responsible for crafting the luxurious leather goods that have made Hermès a household name, but also for preserving their unique skills for future generations.

As we walk around the building’s perimeter, it is hard not to be engulfed by its clean symmetry and overall beauty. As it reveals itself, slowly and sequentially, one can fully grasp its remarkable textures and, above all, its glowing balance. With a subtle industrial touch, the workshop was designed by the talented, visionary architect Lina Ghotmeh. Born in Beirut and based in Paris, where she runs her eponymous architecture firm, Ghotmeh has made a name for herself with her innovative designs inspired by Lebanese heritage and her sustainable approach to architecture. One of her most notable projects is the Estonian National Museum in Tartu, Estonia, with a captivating design evoking the idea of a ‘singing forest’, through its undulating roof and tree-like columns. Known for her use of organic shapes and materials, as well as her ability to seamlessly integrate technology into her designs, Ghotmeh sees her work as the ‘archaeology of the future’. “Each of her projects is born from a thorough research process, deriving its aesthetic from its close relationships with nature and expressing the essence of the materials from which it is fashioned,” says our guide.

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