Even though the idea started more than 10 years ago, Hermes shows it’s never to late to embrace upcycling and recycling. The French luxury design house established in 1837 which specializes in leather goods, lifestyle accessories, home furnishings, watches and ready-to-wear brought its upcycled shop Petit h to Dubai last month. They called it Petit h Souk. Souk means market in Arabic.
The items on display are made from scraps and materials from the Hernes workshop while some products like the falcon stand (top image) appear to be made mainly out of new materials such as ceramic.
The idea of Petit h began as a sustainable solution to the waste problem at the workshop where the project’s founder, Pascale Mussard, frolicked as a young girl.
The direct descendent of Hermès father, Thierry Hermès, Mussard grew up running around the atelier surrounded by the world of Hermès and the luxury products made by her family, but she also noticed the wasteful habit of throwing the leftover material away. Every scrap of leather and silver had potential for a new product or idea. She decided to launch a new atelier to create something beautiful out of what would have gone unused and unappreciated.
The Petit h is a traveling pop-up collection that has travelled to main cities around the world with its assortment of products such as leather animals and chairs and guitars made from horse saddles, in a manner where, Mussard explained, “creation takes place in reverse, because work here does not start with a preconceived idea or grand design, but with materials such as leather, silk, crystal and porcelain for which the other métiers have no further use, and with which artisans, artists and designers improvise by combining, assembling and altering them in a thousand and one ways.”
The resulting collections are full of one-off – or close to one-off – pieces that are whimsical and offer a touch of mischief. Like a guitar made with a horse saddle.
The Petit h collection was in Dubai in November bringing it with it a few pieces inspired by the region. The objects were staged in a space inside the brand’s The Dubai Mall store, custom designed by Emirati architect Abdalla Almulla. The area was reminiscent of a souk – all earthy tones, terracotta, clay, fabric and wood structures.
Objects created specifically for the tastes of Dubai include a falcon stand that brings together terracotta with leather.