The 181-year-old French luxury brand Hermès has historically been defined by a sense of perfection bordering on divine. The brand uses the French word métier to refer to the various product lines that define this perfection: fashion, silks, shoes, jewelry, leather goods, equestrian equipment, etc.
Now, there is a new métier, Hermès Beauty, and the first collection is an assortment of lipsticks called Rouge Hermès.
The new métier, the 16th at Hermès, is led by Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès artistic director and a direct descendant of the founders of the legendary fashion house. Other contributors to the beauty line came in the form of directors from other métiers including perfume, jewelry, and shoes, all of whom helped shape (literally, in some cases) the new initiative and infuse it with the brand’s overall identity.
Rouge Hermès lipsticks express the house’s classic aesthetic with colors drawn from an archive of 75,000 silk swatches from the Hermès vaults, and the packaging is made from the same metals used for Birkin and Kelly handbags. “Rouge Hermès lipsticks are Hermès objects in their own right, expressing all of the house’s principles in a small item of makeup. They share the same aesthetic of function as all Hermès objects,” says the brand’s press statement.
Rouge Hermès lipsticks are available in 24 shades, from intense reds and oranges to a series of neutrals. As an homage to Hermès signature accessories, the lipstick will be available in two different textures: a matte inspired by Hermès fine-grained suede and a satin that imitates the gloss of box calf leather.
The natural lipstick ingredients were developed at Hermès’s laboratory in Normandy, France. The pigments are intense and electric, moving across the color spectrum, including a deep purple, a neutral rose, a true red, and, of course, what line of Hermès objects would be complete without a signature bright orange.
The company makes 70% of its products in-house, with many crafted entirely by hand. Rouge Hermès is no different; the researchers and artisans behind these new lipsticks are the best in France with an intimate understanding of how different substances and textures affect colour, especially on someone’s face. As Axel Dumas, CEO of Hermès says, “Lipstick is not a status symbol, nor a sign of submission to an order, but an affirmation of the self.”
Dumas calls your choice of lipstick your “signature.” And for anyone looking to turn up the volume on their signature, Rouge Hermès becomes available in 35 countries this March with lipsticks for $67.
Hermès Beauty seems poised to carry on the traditions of all the house’s métiers and bring the perfection of craftsmanship and inspiration to new heights (and colours).