Hermès scarves may have adorned the heads of countless sophisticated celebrities, like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Queen Elizabeth II, and Grace Kelly, but the company didn’t get its start as a distinguished fashion house. “Our first customer was a horse,” explained the great-great-grandson of the company’s founder, Xavier Guerrand-Hermès, in a 1980 article for “People” magazine.

Hermès was founded in 1837 as a harness and bridle shop in Paris. It took another hundred years before the company would design a scarf, using the same silk that lined its riding jackets. The first print, called “Jeu des Omnibus et Dames blanches,” debuted in 1937, and was created from a woodblock engraving by Robert Dumas, a member of the extended Hermès family. Named after a popular parlor game, the scarf featured a group of women enjoying the sport at center, encircled by two concentric rings of horse-drawn buses. Over the next few years, Hermès’ silk canvases would feature such romantic imagery as sailing ships, constellations, jungle animals, and, of course, horses.

The 36-inch square silk scarves were soon a mainstay of the luxury goods company, as different artists were commissioned to create their own designs with elaborate detailing and bright color combinations. An individual scarf typically incorporates 20 to 30 different hues, each printed from a unique silkscreen in a process that can take hundreds of hours to complete. More than 2,000 different designs have been produced since 1937, and vintage prints are frequently re-released in new color palettes.

Beginning in 1987, with the “L'Annee du Feu D'Artifice” (or “The Year of Fireworks”), Hermès chose an annual theme for its scarves to dictate the season’s subjects. Regardless of the year, the patterns often feature intricately rendered objects, like a collection of antique canes, elegant riding boots, or a hunter’s weaponry and spoils. Many artists draw inspiration from the contents of the Hermès company museum, whose collection ranges from antique silverware to Middle-Eastern textiles to Victorian toys. Others incorporate flora and fauna, whether creatures of the American Southwest, a flock of flying ducks, or a swirl of French wildflowers.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

MyVintageVogue

MyVintageVogue

The history of 20th-century women’s fashion largely played out in the pages of magazines such as “Harper’s Ba… [read review or visit site]

Ventagli.org

Ventagli.org

Anna Checcoli's homage to the beauty and art of hand fans ('ventagli,' in Italian). Use the left-hand nav to browse… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

Antiquespectacles.com

Antiquespectacles.com

Dr. David Fleishman's comprehensive spectacles site (over 3500 images), in collaboration with museums around the wo… [read review or visit site]

1960s Fashion and Textiles

1960s Fashion and Textiles

Put on your go-go boots and check out this wavy, groovy tribute to 1960s fashion and textiles, courtesy of the Vict… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Fashion Guild

Vintage Fashion Guild

The VFG is a non-profit international educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of vinta… [read review or visit site]

Fashion-Era

Fashion-Era

Bursting at the seams with content, this site contains hundreds of pages of fashion and costume history, including … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Hermes Au Pays Des Oiseaux Fleurs Silk Scarf Brand New In Box With TagHermes Au Dela Des Cinq Mers Silk Scarf Carre 90cm Laurence Bourthoumieux Great Auth Hermes 100cm Cotton Silk Unisex Scarf "memoire Vive" Mint W/tagAuth Hermes Maxi Twilly Scarf, Carre En CarresHermes Scarf Carre Le Pegase D'hermes Hermes Scarf Carre Concerto Pale GrayHermes Plisse "les Printemps De Thera" Black/orange/green/multi Silk ScarfAuth Hermes 90cm Silk Scarf "promenade De Platon" Mint In BoxAuth Hermes Silk Scarf "kachinas" Mint W/shop Card In Box Auth Hermes Silk Scarf "hermes Electrique" W/ribbon In Box Hermes Très Kelly 70cm Vintage Soie Fuschia/noir/brunAuth Hermes Mousseline Silk 90cm Scarf "cavalcadour" Mint In Box Auth Hermes 90cm Silk Scarf "le Robinson Chic" Mint W/ Tag,shop Card In BoxAuth Hermes 90cm Silk Scarf "ors Nomades" Mint W/box, Shop CardAuth Hermes Silk Scarf "hermes Sport" New With Tag, In 2 Boxes Auth Hermes 90cm Silk Scarf "l'instruction Du Roy" Mint W/tag In BoxAuthentic Hermes Scarf. Blue Yellow And Red. Auth Hermes 90cm Silk Scarf "les Merises" Mint In BoxHermes Twilly Scarf - Bolduc Orange/blackHermes Pink Border Silk Scarf.poste Et Cavalerie. Mint ConditionHermes Paris Nwt Silk Cotton Cashmere Sealife Blouse L - Mint Green - Turtles Hermes Paris Womens $395.00 Blue Silk Motif "nest" Scarf 36" X 36"Auth Hermes 70cm Vintage Silk Scarf ”j'aime Mon Carre” W/shop Card In BoxHermes Yellow Border Silk Scarf RepriseNwot Authentic Hermes Balade En Berline Silk ScarfHermes Paris "citrouilles Et Coloquintes" By Valerie Dawlat Plisse Silk ScarfRare 1996 Hermes Scarf Silk Jacquard “orgauphone Et Autres Mechaniques” Red BlueAuth Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Fantaisies Indiennes Dark Pink 35211Hermes Carre Scarf Shawl Silk Omnibus & Voitures De Place Vintage Rare 90cmHermes Silk Scarf 34 Inch Red/golds/white Louis Xv EucAuthentic Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk In Salzburg Black Multi-color 34955Authentic Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Pythagore Brown Multi-color 34789Nwot Hermes Scarf Bowtie! 1001 Arabian Nights! "scheherazade" By Henri D'orignyAuthentic Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Vive Le Vent Green Multi-color 34668Auth Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Caparacons De La France Et De L'inde 34763Auth Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Bird Insect Green Multi-color 34765Authentic Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Maharajas Brown Multi-color 37029Hermes Equestrian Silk/cashmere ScarfR58083 Auth Hermes Orange Multi-color Pleated Scarf 100% Silk Stole W/boxHermes 90cm Silk Scarf "24" Automobilia Al Le Mans Classic.Auth Excellent Hermes Pleated Scarf 100% Silk La Presentation Gray Box 36598 BR58082 Auth Hermes Blue Multi-color 100% Silk Pleated Scarf Stole W/tagHermes Scarf 35"Auth Hermes 70cm Vintage Silk Scarf ”caleche Elastique” In BoxHermes Scarf Carre Tanizanie Light Pink Hermes Paris Cliquetis Navy By J Abadie Silk Scarf Md In France, Authentic Authentic Hermes Pierres D'orient Et D'occident 100% Silk Scarf FranceNew Hermes French 100% Silk Scarf Shawl With Original Box And Gift RecieptHermes Scarf 100%silk Equestrian Le Timbalier Françoise Heron Rose Red X WhiteHermes Peuple Du Vent BandanaHermes Paris Silk Scarf Wine Red White Horse Reprise Designed By Ledoux 88x90 CmHermes Twilly Scarf Brides De Gala Guaranteed Authentic In Box!Auth Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Les Dix Cavaliers Blue Multi-color 34669Authentic Hermes Scarf Liberte Egalite Fraternite Rep Francaise Red X Blue 72691Authentic Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Les Robes Pink Multi-color 36965Hermes Scarf Zodiac Horoscope Dies Et Hore Scarf Carre Classic!Authentic Excellent Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Les Feux De L'espace Blue14557Hermes Vintage Silk Ship ScarfHermes Silk L'instruction Du Roy Large Scarf 35 X 35" In Blue W Box 07-Hermes Scarf.24 Faubourg Saint Honore. Blue With Horses.100% Silk.made In France