Disclaimer: originally I wanted to do a big post on all my shopping in Paris – but this part was so long already that I decided to make a post for just Hermes. Warning now that this is a text heavy post
So as I mentioned yesterday, Mr. Feather and I didn’t do much shopping on this trip. The only thing I really wanted was another Hermes bag, to use for work and travel. I have visited the Hermes flagship at 24 Faubourg for many years, starting from when I would go with my mom with I was little. I really love the brand and have the best memories of going to the shop and being surrounded by all the lovely items and beautiful service.
24 Faubourg, Hermes flagship store
So on our first day in Paris, after a nice breakfast, Mr. Feather and I set off to 24 Faubourg. I had my camera ready to take photos of the window displays for you all….which I unfortunately forgot to do when I saw the enormous line outside! I have seen lines at Louis Vuitton but never at Hermes! Thus that morning, I had the opportunity to teach Mr. Feather a hurried cultural lesson about “Asian line behavior.” Lesson below:
If thou is Asian, and see a line
a) thou must get in the line, for it must be something good, and
b) thou must also shove and push to be get far ahead in the line, because they may run out of whatever is good.
Mr. Feather didn’t believe me and laughed it off until an elderly grandma knocked him in the head with her Gucci belt bag in the rush that occurred when the doors opened at 10:30 AM. “This is madness!” I could hear him calling to me, as I was dodging my own way through, trying my best to avoid a trampling. Our long time sales associate ended up being away, so we found someone else. I asked her if I could please have the bag with the specific specs I wanted. She gave me a sympathetic look and said, “No Birkins, no Kelly bags.”
Some of my favorite displays, photos courtesy of Hermes
“What?” I said, confused – “Last time I was here, there was so much selection!”
The sales associate nodded. “Yes that was before…and now, see all these people, waiting here? They are all waiting for these bags. Some wait here all day. We haven’t had a single Birkin come in since early last week.”Slowly, I looked around….there were at least thirty people in the handbag shopping alone, all milling around, asking the same questions: “Birkin? Kelly? Birkin? Kelly?”
Another young couple was leaning against the wall with a picnic sack– the look on their faces said they were prepared to wait ALL DAY LONG, and wouldn’t hesitate to commit at the very least, extreme shoving. So…we left the shop. Over the next few days we stopped by again, and the bag I wanted wasn’t there…and so as were having some wine at a cafe, I told Mr. Feather that I gave up: “I’ll just get it some other time…it wasn’t meant to be, this trip.”
“Okay, well I still need to buy a tie,” Mr. Feather said. “You can wait here and enjoy your wine…I’ll go pick it up.” I was busy on my second glass and feeling quite happy with myself and the world when Mr. Feather came back. “Can you come back to the store with me?” he said, “I forgot my passport and need yours for the VAT.”
So I went back with Mr. Feather…gave my passport, drank some tea the lovely manager brought out, and then signed the passport documentation. I was rooting around for my sunglasses, getting ready to go, when they brought out an ENORMOUS orange box from behind the counter…”Dude, why is the box so big?” I asked. “Oh…I don’t know!” said the smiling manager…”You’ll just have to see.”So I will just end the story now and say that with the help of some lovely and gracious staff, Mr. Feather was able to find the exact bag I wanted and have it held for me. I was so thrilled! I am not a very emotional person but I was dancing out of the store and saying YAY!
I love gold hardware and the color Etoupe (a dark taupe) and so this was the exact bag that I wanted. The pairing I think is a little unexpected but very neutral and classic. Sorry that this was all so long – I wanted to write down the details so that I could remember the memory myself later on Thank you for reading about my trip to Hermes and I encourage everybody to visit the shop in Paris – even if you don’t buy anything, you will leave with wonderful memories and a few more items on your wishlist.
PS: Since writing this post, I’ve received quite a lot of emails about getting your “dream bag” at Hermes. My advice would be not to fixate on that “one perfect item” but to just be happy you are in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, at one of the best shops in Paris. There are tons of goodies in Hermes so just go in, take a look, and you may leave with a completely different “dream item” than what you started with. And please be polite to both your fellow shoppers and the sales associates! A smile and patience can go a long way – and remember – enjoy, you are in Paris!