French high fashion brand Hermès launched an exhibition at The Royal Academy Galleries in London this week, taking the visitor on a journey through it’s history, from it’s establishment as a saddlery in 1837 in Paris by Thierry Hermès, to it’s iconic lusted-after bags, scarves and accessories today. “We are celebrating our 175th year, it’s the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics and Hermès wanted to be part of this cultural festival and stage our own event.” Crafts people from the Hermès workshops in Paris can take 18 to 24 hours to produce one bag solo, and are to demonstrate the art of leather working live within the exhibition. Visitors will also get to see four one-of-a-kind versions of Hermès Passe-Guide handbags designed as a tribute to the United Kingdom and Ireland.Out on West London’s Kings Road we snapped Francesca Willi, girlfriend of rugby player James Haskell, with her classic Hermès Birkin handbag. She’s pictured here looking remarkably fresh after just completing a triathlon wearing her Hermès bag, Beck Sonder Gaard scarf, maxi dress from Miss Selfridge, Urban Outfitters sandals and Ray Ban aviator sunglasses. See more Hermès street style.
The Leather Forever exhibition runs 8—27 May 2012, The Royal Academy Galleries, 6 Burlington gardens, London W1. Free entry.