Hermès's printed silk scarves were first created in 1937, and 80 years later, they remain just as sought after. They all have the same form—a 90-by-90-cm square, or foulard, if you will—however there have been over 1500 designs by 100 designers, making them as much a collector's piece of art as an accessory.
There might have been over 1500 designs, but Hermès scarves all have a distinctive look, which is largely down to the use of colour. The average number of colours in a carré is 30, and these are all decided by a "colour committee." It can take up to two years to create a scarf—as everything from the rolling of the borders to the screen printing is done by hand.
Pierre-Alexis Dumas leads the designs of the scarves at the house today, but the first scarf was created by his grandfather, Robert Dumas, and three generations of the family have worked on the scarves. “From the beginning, the Hermès carré was imagined as an object, and not as an accessory,” Pierre-Alexis Dumas explains. “It is an object perfectly composed and autonomous, which can suffice on its own. My grandfather was fascinated by the rigour imposed by printing on silk, and he immediately addressed the creation of his motifs through composition. He, therefore, accorded great importance to the design, refusing to accept approximation in the representations of animals, objects and details, and he ended up with an expressive printed style, even when he was not the originator of the design.”
The scarves have been worn by everyone from the Queen to Olivia Palermo, proving that they are a timeless piece that can work in any wardrobe. Princess Grace of Monaco famously wore hers as a sling for her broken arm, meanwhile, street style star Miroslava Duma often wears hers as a headscarf. Keep scrolling to shop five beautiful Hermès carrés.