Permanent Style has an interview with Jean Grimbert, one of the head honchos at the Parisian menswear outlet Arnys. Arnys are known for their artistic, eccentric takes on classic men’s style… their most famous piece, the Forrestiere, was designed for Le Corbusier, as a coat that allowed him to comfortably write on the chalkboard during a professorship. Arnys sold out to the luxury conglomerate LVMH last year in a mostly-for-the-real-estate deal, but it sounds like some version of the brand will continue to exist. We’ll see.
“Hermès and LVMH are at the two extremes of the culture and industry of luxury. We [at Hermès] are artisans and creative. We try to produce the most beautiful products in this industry. The artisans put their heart and soul in the bag and when the client buys it, they buy a bit of the ethic of Hermès. For six generations, the same family has run Hermès. That has given this company something no other company has. Our combat with LVMH is not an economic fight, it’s a cultural fight. We try to do poetry and we get excellent economic results. We must protect that.”— Hermes CEO Patrick Thomas, on fighting the hostile takeover attempt by the luxury conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy). If you’re interested in learning more about the changes in the luxury industry (and how Hermes has resisted them), check out the author of this article’s fascinating book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster.