Hermès, the French high fashion supplier of luxury goods, was originally established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès as a bridle and harness shop in Paris. What set Hermès on the path to great success was the firm receiving the exclusive rights to use zippers for leather goods and clothing in 1914. In France, the zipper became known as the fermeture Hermès.
One hundred years from the founding of the company, in 1937, Hermès introduced the Hermès carrés, or square scarf, which became an icon of French culture.
The first was 70 cm x 70 cm, or approximately 28 inches by 28 inches. Today, the usual is larger at 36 in. x 36 in. Made from Chinese silk, the original Hermès scarf was twice as strong compared to the thin scarves of the day.
How strong? Strong enough to remain intact after having been consumed by an English Bull Terrier, according to Johnny Dodge in Eye of the Moon.
I have had readers wonder on numerous occasions how much of Eye of the Moon was real. I tend to equivocate when asked, simply because many of the incidents described in the book seem impossible, but as anyone who has lived long enough can attest, much of life is stranger than any fiction.
Styles and trends will go in and out of fashion like the change of seasons, but a Hermès scarf is still an item of great beauty. Designers today can choose from over 70,000 colors, and if you are ever at a loss as to what to give the lady of your life on a special occasion, you will not go wrong gifting one. According to Stanley, a chilled bottle of Cristal will do quite nicely as an accompaniment.
Happy Birthday, Mary Jo.