New Hermès Meatpacking Store
On Thursday morning, I headed downtown to preview the new Hermès store in the Meatpacking District. The area used to actually be where they packed meat in New York. You would almost break an ankle on the cobblestones when you went to Pastis or Florent. Now those iconic places are gone and the cobblestones have been relaid in perfect grids and luxury stores have infiltrated the area. I was thinking today that I miss the grittiness of the old Meatpacking District but we can’t go back in time so we must embrace change, no matter how hard that may be.
The new Hermès store fits perfectly into the changed landscape of the Meatpacking District and has been designed with details that reflect the city outside. The staircase has been made with steel unlike any other Hermès staircase. There is a coffee bar and charging stations, as well as photographs of horses that refer back to New York and complement the other antique equestrian paintings. There will also be special Hermès products specifically for this location but they have not arrived yet.
Chief Executive Axel Dumas who welcomed us to the store, reminded us that Hermès is really about craftsmanship but now that includes skateboards as well as luxury handbags. I appreciate that Hermès doesn’t seem to take itself so seriously as witnessed in the playful front windows.
The best moment of the press preview came from Robert Chavez, Hermès USA president and CEO, who quoted the late Jean-Louis Dumas as saying, “Don’t make anything ugly – someone may buy it.” I wish more fashion brands would adhere to this advice.
Hermès Meatpacking, 46 Ganesvoort Street, New York, NY 10014, 212-257-1600