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 Nib Silk Scarf Mint Cond Brilliant Pinks, Orange, Green, Blue & WhiteHermes Black "les Tuileries" J. Metz 90cm Silk ScarfGorgeous Rare Hermes Paris Plisse Silk Scarf "carpe Diem" (more Pics In Details)Stunning Very Rare Hermes Paris Silk Scarf - "thalassa" (more Pics In Details)Vintage Hermes 90x90cm Silk Scarf "les Cavaliers D'or". In Box. Excellent Cond.Stunning Hermes Paris Silk Scarf "zénobie, Reine..." (more Pics In Details)Beautiful Hermes Paris Silk Scarf "lÉgende Kuna Peuple De Panama"Fabulous Rare Hermes Paris V70 Finesse Silk Scarf "instructions Sur L'art...."Gorgeous Rare Hermes Paris Silk Scarf "brides De Gala" (more Pic In Details)Authentic Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Eperon D'or Navy Multi-color Hermes Paris Silk Multi-colored Geometric Neckerchief/scarfHermes Scarf New In Box Cirque Molier 90 Cm Silk TwillHermes Blue Silk "les Voitures A Transformation" La Perriere 90cm ScarfHermes Fleurs D'indiennes Scarf- Rare Grail Colorway Gorgeous Rare Hermes Paris Silk Scarf "mÉditerranÉe" (more Pic In Details)Hermes Vintage Pink Silk Giverny 90cm ScarfAuthentic Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Bride De Cour 90x90cm Dark Orange/blue/pinkHermes Flacon Scarf 90 Cm Silk Twill - Price Really Lowered!!Hermes Chapeau By Annie Faivre 100% Silk Scarf Dark BlueVintage Estate Fresh Hermes Paris France 100% Silk H.d'origny Fantaisie ScarfHermes "jeu De Omnibus Et Dames Blanches" Silk Scarf 90cm 36" .99 No Reserve!!Vintage Auth Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Grand Apparat Purple Horse & SaddlesStunning Hermes Paris Silk Scarf "chefs Indiens" (more Pics In Details)Hermes Scarf Caparacons De La France Et De L'indeFabulous Hermes Paris Silk Plisse Scarf "astrologie" (more Pics In Details)Authentic Hermes Scarf 100% Silk Tatouage Jungle Love 90x90cm Dark Blue/whiteHermes "rafaeles" Blue Scarf Yacht Sailboat 90cm 36" Large .99 No Reserve!!Hermes France 100% Silk Scarf "pierres D'orient" ExcellentHermes France 100% Silk Scarf "les Tanbours" Excellent Vintage Beautiful Hermes Napoleon Scarf Carre 100% Silk France FoulardHermes Scarf Couvee D'hermes 90 Cm Silk TwillHermes Scarf Scarf Carre Mousseline "grands Fonds" YellowNib Hermes Scarf Axis Mundi 90 Cm Silk Twill - Price Lowered For Quick Sale!Women's Dressy Scarf Hermes Paris Large Pink Flowers. Les PivoinesHermes Scarf Chasse En Inde 90cm Silk Twill Priced For Quick Sale!Hermes Scarf Chemins De Garrigue 90 Cm Silk TwillBeautiful Hermes Les Tuileries Silk ScarfAuth Hermes 90cm Silk Scarf "libres Comme L'air" W/casePair Magnificent Hermes Pillows Silk Scarf Type Skeleton Key Pattern Down FilledAuthentic Hermes Paris Silk Scarf "british Heraldry" By Rybaltchenko, 90cmRare 1963 Hermes 33" Silk Scarf Vielle Chine Mme La Torre Birds Insect SquirrelsHermes Twilly Scarf Pink Lilac In Original BoxVintage Hermes Paris Silk Scarf Panache Et Fantaisie Horses Motif Equestrian Hermes Nwtib Hermes Cotton Scarf - Crisp White With Colorful JockeysHermes Rare Vintage Small Scarf Pocket Square 100% Silk Love Birds Rare Vtg Hermes Paris Silk Scarf Le Bois De Boulogne Grygkar 1957 Green BorderRare Hermes Green "les Chemins De L'ile-de-france" Silk Scarf | Villages |90cmHermes "le Sacre Du Printemps" 90cmAuthentic Hermes 100% Silk Scarf 'grand Manege' 35"/90cm Made In FranceHermes Scarf Boogie Woogie 90cm Silk Twill - Price Really Lowered!Vintage Hermes Scarf Julia Abade Superb ConditionHermes Tohu Bohu Plisse Scarf Pleated Silk 90cm Sold Out!Authentic Hermes Paris Kimonos Et Inros Chestnut Brown Blue Golden Silk ScarfHermes Twilly Brand New With BoxHermes New Nwt 86x5cm 100% Silk Twilly Camails Scarf Tie Green Violet BlueNib Hermes Scarf Galop Chromatique 90 Cm Silk - Price Lowered For Quick Sale.Auth Hermes 90cm Silk Vintage Scarf "cols Verts!"Authentic Hermes Silk Twilly ScarfHermes Paris Silk Scarf Samurai "samourai" 35" Square Butter Yellow And NavyHermes Paris Scarf Box , 100% Authentic , Excellent Condition