Hermès Brings Paris to New York City in First U.S. Runway Show


What do supersize traffic lights, Caroline Polachek, and a very distinct shade of New York City yellow cab have in common? As it turns out, Hermès.

The Parisian luxury brand showed the second chapter of its fall 2024 show on June 6 at Pier 36 in Manhattan. Inside the venue, those oversize yellow traffic lights were strung up everywhere, bathed in cool blue light. Before the show began, clients and VIPs—Usher, Tierra Whack, Jenny Slate, Lily Allen—wandered through the show space, plucking coupe glasses of Champagne off waiters’ trays, wielding their Birkins and Kelly bags. “Do you like my accent? I’m French,” played over the speakers, mixed with a funky beat. From the moment the first model, Anok Yai, hit the runway, there it was: a collection that melded New York style from a French perspective, and vice versa.

Many of the models wore little black leather mariner hats. Scarlet pants were paired with mustard-yellow jackets and printed silk scarf tops. Black leather trousers came high-waisted, boiler suits were rendered in that earthy yellow, and rich brown leathers meshed with brilliant saffrons. It was as if the two style personalities of New York and Paris were having a dialogue. And with all those cocoon-like coats and biker-inspired leathers, the vintage vibe was in full effect, with a definite nod to the 1970s.

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images
Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images
Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images
Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images
Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images
Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

As an alum of The Row, Hermès’s artistic director of women’s, Nadège Vanhée, was once a New Yorker. Now, after 10 years at Hermès, she’s purely Parisian. For this collection, she reflected on her time in New York City, citing its pace, energy, and timeless optimism as influences for the collection. Also serving as inspiration? The word, “rocabar,” which the show notes cite as “originally the name of a striped horse rug—a rug à barres, as a Scottish saddler once called it—it has settled, over the course of more than a century, into an iconic Hermès motif of vibrantly earthy tones.” Taking the word in a more literal direction, just seconds after models finished their final walk and Vanhée took her bow, curtains behind the second row rolled back to reveal a live DJ playing Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman” (the 1981 song TikTok’s been obsessing over lately) in a booth whose signage read, “Hermès Manhattan Rocabar.” Guests were able to wander onto the terrace facing the East River, while Rahill, Caroline Polachek, and Honey Dijon all staged live performances.

New Yorkers have distinct points of reference for their personal style, which Hermès really nailed. Take, for instance, the endless combinations of bags slung over the shoulders, worn strapped around the waist, as mini backpacks, and deliciously chunky clutches propped in the crook of the elbow. And then there was the outerwear, worn with real-world charm—lightweight shearlings tied around the waist, sturdy black leather jackets that came belted and chubby shearlings layered with yet another jacket tied around the waist. There was even size diversity, a concept that somehow still feels foreign at Paris Fashion Week in 2024, but mandatory in New York; both Paloma Elsesser and Jill Kortleve walked the show. Ample amounts of black reigned supreme, too—every New Yorker’s favorite. But the bold cobalt blues, electric cherry reds, and vibrant taxi yellows sang a song of personality with a point of view, another favorite accessory in the city of dreams.

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images



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