Thursday, May 28, 2015

Favorite purchase from my Paris trip - Hermès toggle bracelet

Have you recently tried to shop at Hermès on Rue Faubourg du Saint-Honoré? It's rather a nightmare I dare say. If you are lucky enough to find there are no lines to enter to the shop, it will be heaving inside, and not with well mannered Parisian ladies, but with a young, status craving crowd of people who are quite keen on buying the bits in the shop that screeeeaaaaaam Hermès, rather than whisper it pianissimo.

I am not a snob - actually where did that come from, I am a total snob - but this atmosphere in the shop very much takes away from the experience of spending money there, and it also greatly diminishes the value of the product in my feeble (and snobby) opinion. Whether Hermès' products are greatly different in quality from the designs of new luxury companies like Jason Wu for instance is debatable, but buying at Hermès is not just about quality. Buying at Hermès is about solidifying an identity you have established for yourself - the identity of a person who appreciates beautiful hand stitching, duck confit, the importance of terroir to wine, and traditional British manners. We all come from different backgrounds, but many of us have left them far behind at this point, and along with the money we earn and the sophistication we learn, come the apropriate material goods - and that's why we need Hermès. When Rue Faubourg is overrun suddenly by people, however, who are dropping credits cards like billionaires while furiously playing Jetpack Joyride and simultaneously spinning around on the spot to show their FaceTime connection where they are at this very moment, it all becomes a bit iffy.

A nice young man at the Faubourg location of Hermès, however, must have noticed my despair and told me in a conspiratorial voice that the Rue de Sèvres location in Saint Germain is actually very quiet and peaceful, and maybe I should try my luck there. I did, and it was exactly the kind of experience that encourages one to read up on the fine nuances of British table manners or perhaps even to consider reading the works of Gustave Flaubert. The Saint Germain shop was previously a swimming pool serving one of Paris' oldest swimming clubs (read about it HERE) and it is a lovely, light and airy space without any other tourists on the day I visited. I picked the toggle bracelet above. All my trust in Hermès was restored. And speaking of being a snob, I was reminded of a great Hemingway quote in the very pleasant film Kingsman, delivered beautifully by the lead character Colin Firth:

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man, true nobility is being superior to your former self.

I will try to remember that next time I wrestle the crowds at my favorite luxury destination ♡

No comments:

Post a Comment