Hermès is noted for many things. Bags that are worth investing in more than property, and silk scarves that shape-shift from accessories to halter tops are among those items. What not many would know about, though, is the brand’s low-profile special projects arm, hiding in plain sight at the bottom of the French luxury auteur’s website in the form of a little tab, spelling Le Sur-Mesure. Meaning, made-to-measure.
Bespoke is not a novel idea, more so for the higher echelons of fashion where the world’s most well-heeled crop of consumers splurge their wealth. So for the almost-two centuries old French luxury goods house, assuming roles as tailors not merely to the sartorial needs of its affluent consumers, but also to the “fruit of [their] imagination”, is readily hoped for.
Discreetly, Hermès has offered bespoke remakes of its available products to selected special clients since 1837. Harnesses and saddles, leather trunks and silk scarves — all could be customised to fit the client’s specific wishes. Le Sur-Mesure, though, aims to take that concept one step further.
For some, this has taken the form of custom arm chairs coated in Hermès’ iconic supple brown leather, or maybe one-off boxing gloves designed to perfectly form around their clenched knuckles. For another, it may be the seats to their private jet or the cabin of a 12-metre dayboat.
It could be anything: Bag, suitcase, garment, saddle, phone case or piece of furniture for your vacation home. Even the casket to your hot air balloon, or plush interior of your rare Aston Martin DB4. Whatever it is, the team of Le Sur-Mesure artisans will have it made to life and skilfully crafted just for you, using the house’s finest materials.
The only catch will be that no one other than you would ever know it’s an Hermès. “It will never be written big: ‘Here is my Le Sur-Mesure Hermès bag,’” asserted Christophe Beltrando, the atelier’s managing director, to Surface. “Only the client needs to know it was made for them.”
What Beltrando would not disclose was how much any of these products could set one back. After all, giving away such information is “not really in keeping with the spirit of Le Sur-Mesure.” Something else he would not reveal: What percentage of Le Sur-Mesure’s business comes from existing Hermès clients versus new ones.
As expected, the dream factory has an ultra-strict door policy. Hermès will reject requests that don’t reflect its brand values. “One guy who owned this super 1980s-style yacht talked to us,” mused Alex de Beaufort, artistic director of Le Sur-Mesure, then shook his head. “Our best ambassador is the product and we must be aware of that always.”
With Le Sur-Mesure, the sky’s not your limit, it’s the depth of your imagination and bank account. But that’s, of course, if your even land a reply from the atelier.
(Main and featured photos: Hermès)