In a cosmopolitan city where nature is bountiful, international luxury brand Hermès opened a new Vancouver location that takes cues from its surroundings. From its contemporary façade to the elemental features within, the space was designed to inspire and unleash imagination.
On September the 12th, Hermès hosted the much-anticipated grand opening for their Vancouver flagship store in the Alberni Street Luxury Zone. The 460-square-metre space at the southwest corner of Burrard and West Georgia was designed by Parisian architecture agency RDAI and represent a reimagining of the brand’s presence in Vancouver.
“Nearly 25 years ago we opened our first store in Vancouver,” says President and CEO of Hermès Canada, Jennifer Carter. “Today, we’re proud to unveil an advanced retail experience that finds inspiration in the striking landscape, quality of living, and strength of spirit that defines Vancouver.”
The new Hermès space is captivating from the moment the visitor passes through the white terrazzo façade into an interior featuring warm natural furnishings, meant to evoke the land and the near-by sea.
The first floor exposes universes of jewelry and watches across from fashion jewelry, a lavish scent section, and men’s selections filling the expansive space.
At the top of the first flight of stairs, the pièce de résistance is found. A Pegasus horse relief by French sculptor Christian Renonciat captured in mid-flight. Renonciat is known for monumental works, where he marries the imaginary and the technical with diverse materials of carved wood, cast steel, and bronze, often with the tone of imaginary archaeology. He has worked for Hermès before, designing the gardens for their Hermès à Pantin head office in 1990.
Rising to the second floor of the space brings the Hermès home collection and the women’s universe, home to shoes, accessories, and private salon. Products exclusive to the Vancouver store can be found here, such as a triptych of Kelly bags and a limited edition Twilly scarf.
The Kelly bag carries the legacy of Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly (for which it found its present name is derived) and is a nod to the 182-year heritage of the fashion house.
The Twilly scarf, in its silky elegance, is a testament to quality. The meticulously crafted accessory has been worn by Queen Elizabeth II, Audrey Hepburn and many more. Each scarf is the result of 18-hours of craftsmanship and is worn in seemingly never-ending ways to give an outfit a level of playfulness that only Hermès can bring.
The Vancouver store is one of 310 in 49 countries around the world and uplifts the brand’s values of the freedom of creation, a constant search for beautiful materials, the transmission of the savoir-faire of excellence, and aesthetic of functionality to create a house of objects like no other, family-owned since 1837.
APRÈS LAUNCH CELEBRATION
For days beforehand, the Hermès event was the most sought after invitation in the city. Not since Dior launched in December 2017, has the glitterati of Vancouver assembled en masse.
The evening event began with a smattering of rain, which kept guests close to the building as check-in commenced. An army of umbrella valets was on-hand, ensuring everyone made it from their vehicles to the line-up dry and safe.
Guests were shuttled from the Luxury Zone to the after-party and greeted with an astounding maze of greenery. Along the path, gloved hands offered a variety of libations, and soon guests found themselves coming upon various activations including a dance floor glittering with immense mirrored balls, a craft cocktail bar watched over by a giant neon Pegasus flying amongst fluffy clouds, a VR experience on an Hermès horse, a dance skills challenge on a electronic checkerboard, a jazz lounge with whisky fountain, a Boomerang room with a choice of wings created from shredded Hermès scarves, and a 3D mirror ballroom that made heads spin. Also, roaming Champagne purveyors topping up flutes as guests explored and shared experiences via a never-ending stream of Instastories.
Note to self, when Hermès says the event goes ‘until late,’ they mean it! Guests were still dancing after midnight, and we have no idea when the last limo pulled away.
An incredible event that will stay in the memory of all who attended for years to come.
- Coleman Pete is a contributor for EcoLuxLuv Communications. Coleman writes about men's wear, design, and food, and can be found combing through vintage clothing racks or reading in one of his favourite cafe's in Mount Pleasant. Read more by Coleman at OverdressedNW.com.
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