Hermès in the 1980s

I have been asked before how much did an Hermès carre cost in 1980 for example.

One of my customers was kind to share a “How to wear your Hermès scarf” with me from 1986.

And in 1986 a 36 inch twill carre fetched a mere $136.  I wish, I had appreciated Hermès then as I do today!

But instead I was in love with Claude Montana’s bold style, Thierry Mugler’s sexy yet classic feminine curves and let’s not forget, Azzedine Alaia – the King of Cling!

Upon opening the booklet one is greeted by a smiling Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermès, who writes a personal note to us and on the opposite side, I am fascinated to read that, and I quote, “it’s the final step in the making of an Hermès scarf…Every Tuesday morning, the women come from all over Paris – sixty of them – to the Hermès store and workrooms at 24 Faubourg Saint-Honore to deliver the silk scarves they’ve hand-rolled at home the previous week, and to pick up new ones to finish”.

I love that!!!

It goes on to mention that it takes sometimes up to a year, up to 300 artist-craftsmen and sometimes 35 separate color applications to create one scarf.  Followed by a brief Hermès history, which began as a saddlemaker in 1837 and 100 years later led to the introduction of the first carre, the Le Jeu des Omnibus et des Dames Blanches, which was named after an old game.  Twelve new carres a year, the scarf collection in 1986 amounted to some 750 designs.  Sadly, it goes on saying, that a few of the originals had been lost as for example the King Tut.  It concludes with, and again I quote, “We don’t have one.

Maybe you do?”

I guess the point, I am trying to make here is, how truly precious (and I am not fond of this word ever since a certain little dog was named “Precious” in Silence of the Lambs :-)) the Hermès vintage carre is.

I have been fortunate and had the privilege to behold some very special first edition carres.  One, a Les Cles, that sold last summer, was I guessed from the first issue and when my client wore it to the Hermès boutique in Geneva, she wrote me, that the sales person there had this reaction:

While visiting the Hermès boutique, the SA was very envious of such a classic and even gave me the guide cards on how to tie the scarf!

The 1986 How to Wear your HERMES scarf features these following carres:


Promenade de Longchamps

Chasse en Inde


Flora Graeca


Les Perroquets



Eperon d’Or

Les Cles

Grand Apparat

Enjoy some of our very own first or early edition carres





2 thoughts on “Hermès in the 1980s

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