Thierry Hermes father emigrating to Germany
Thierry Hermes father was of protestant religion.
The persecution of the Huguenots
pushed Hermes to leave the Kingdom of France
and to emigrate to the Rhineland, Germany
where he could live in peace. Under the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XIV
Hugenots were persecuted in France which was a country of catholic religion.
France had know religions wars for centuries.
Thierry Hermes father (1770 - 1820 ?), in German Dietrich Hermes
married Agnese Kuhnen (1780 - 1820 ?).
Hermes was French, his wife Agnese German.
They run a silk business on Königstrasse in Krefeld, 8km from the river Rhine.
Krefeld is north of Duesseldorf and south of Dusiburg.
The city had a long history in the silk industry
and was also called "Samt und Seidenstadt", in English "city of silk".
Born in the French Department of the Roer,
today part of North Rhine Westfalia, a state of Germany
1797 the area became French as it was conquered by Napoléon Bonaparte.
The Roer department was created,
beeing part of the north of the First French Empire / Premier Empire.
La "Département de la Roer" was one of the 133 Departments of Napléons Premier Empire
with the main administative ("chef-lieu") city beeing Aachen.
The French liberalised trade laws, making it easier for newcomers
to settle in the Krefeld silk industry, until now very much dominated
by the wealthy von der Leyen family.
1801 january 10 Thierry Hermes was born
At the time of his birth Creveld / Crefeld / Krefeld was under French administration.
Thierry Hermes was the youngest of six children.
1814 january 14 Napoléon was defeated, end of the First Empire
the Roer department was divided between the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
and the Kingdom of Prussia.
Thierry Hermes was 13 years old when his hometown Krefeld
became part of the Prussian Province of Jülich Cleves Berg.
shortly later part of the Rhine Province,
the westernmost province of Prussia.
First Hermes companies
Hermes & Co
and Hermes frères
Growing up in the Silk industry
The city to Crefeld / Krefeld was known for its textile industry.
The town's weavers were supplying
velvet, brocade and silk to many countries.
At the end of the 18th century Crefeld / Krefeld
was like Lyon one of Europe's most important centers for silk production.
The industry is dominated by the von der Leyen family,
the brothers Friedrich und Heinrich von der Leyen had established in 1731.
They had made a fortune as silk weaving industrialists and silk merchants.
Von der Leyen was ennobled in 1786,
Napoleon made them Barons in 1813 confirmed by the King of Prussia in 1816.
The von der Leyen dynasty enjoyed many priviledges.
Under the local predominance of the von der Leyens
it was difficult for Thierry Hermes father,
once an immigrant from France, to succeed.
This particulary after the departure of Napoleon's
French Premier Empire administration
and the return of Krefeld to Prussia .
According to some sources Thierry's parents also operated a Hotel
which might have been located next to their small factory.
It is possible that young Thierry Hermes
was part of the Hermes frères company (Hermes brothers) in Krefeld.
More research would be necessary to find out.
At the age of 20 he decided to leave Germany
and emigrated to France,
country of his fathers ancestors.
In his luggage nothing but a savoir-faire
in textile that would later help him to
start a new Hermes comany in Paris.
Moving to Normandy
1821 Thierry Hermes moved to Normandy
He settled in Pont Audemer, a small town
located between Deauville and Rouen,
160 km north west from Paris.
The city beeing located on the risle river
has many water chanels which was ideal for the leather industry
needing a lot of water to clean leather.
Pont Audemer is also called
'Venice of Normandy"
In addition to his knowledge with textiles
Thierry Hermes learned the scills of handling leather.
He was employed by the Pleumer family
who owned a sucessful leaver production company,
the precise expression in French is "sellier-harnacheur".
Trying to find more information about Thierry Hermes
the idea came up to make a trip to Pont Audemer.
The city was very beautiful, but quite asleep.
No café would serve someting to eat after official lunch hours.
Nobody on the streets knew anything about Thierry Hermes ...
until the owner of a shop directed us to rue Sadi Carnot.
This is where we met an interesting person,
right on rue Sadi Carnot
A long long time ago her husband Monsieur Pleumer
employed the young Thierry Hermes.
How could we talk to Madame Pleumer that was probably born before 1800 ?
Well her face is engraved into the facade of the beautiful building.
She was talking to us through the voice of present owner of the house
a glamorous and very cultivated Lady:
"I bought the house 5 years ago,
it was fallling apart, all the stone which are coming from Caen were all black ...
of course it's historty interests me"
The Lady shared the information with us.
15 rue Sadi Carnot on Google Street View
Thierry's house was located rue de la Brasserie,
but it looks as if the building no longer exists.
1828 april 17 Thierry Hermes married Christine Pierrat (1805- 1896).
Moving to Paris
1837 Thierry Hermes moved to Paris
Rue Basse du Rempart
The original Hermes store
located on 56 rue Basse du Rempart in
what is today the 9th district of Paris
(near the borders of the 1st and 8th Arrondissement).
Thierry Hermes's saddlery products became popular.
Hermès specialized in the horse harnesses
needed for calèches, and carriages.
Over 70,000 horses lived in Paris at the time.
more about the first Hermes workshop
coming soon ...
1837 is the year where Queen Victoria became Queen of England.
It is also the year where Charles Lewis Tiffany opened a shop in New York.
The future Empress Eugénie was 11 years old and spend her vacation in Biarritz.
1842 ended the constrution of the eglise de la Madeleine
located nearby the first Hermes store.
Pavillon des Drapiers
ex right side of Cremerie de Paris N°1
link between Hermes & Cremerie de Paris
Interest in textile activites connect Thierry Hermes
to the history of Cremerie de Paris from where
this article is written.
In fact before becoming a "Cremerie", a cheese store,
during the times of the Les Halles foodmarket
the right side of Cremerie de Paris N°1 lays on the grounds
of another historic building,
the Pavillons des Drapiers.
Pavillon des Drapiers
(Cremerie de Paris N°1 - right side)
Hotel de Villeroy / VB mansion
current left side of Cremerie de Paris N°1
Cremerie de Paris is also part of a century old mansion
where the young Bourbon King Louis XIV had lived a long time ago.
It was the house of the children François and Catherine de Villeroy,
their father Nicolas V de Villeroy was the tutor of the young king.
The presence of Louis XIV during the years 1646
leaves an aura on the Cremerie,
which Thierry Hermes must have been aware of.
Impact of the Second Empire on Hermes
Empress Eugenie, Napoléon III
1848 Napoléon III is elected President of France.
1852 he becomes Emperor of the French.
The new reign is not without impact on Thierry Hermes.
Their project is to make Paris become the Worlds most beautiful city.
With the Baron Haussmann, prefect of the Seine
is decided to reshape the city,
replacing small streets like rue Basse du Rempart
by large avenues like the newly erected Boulevard de la Madeleine.
Hermes needs to find a new company seat.
Another project is the renovation of the Halles Centrales foodmarked
affecting the Pavillon des Drapiers.
The landscape of Paris changes.
The historic Hermes Store dissapeares
as the rue Basse du Rempart is replaced.
The store would be located on current
Place de la Madeleine and the beginning of the Boulevard de la Madeleine.
At the same time the Second Empire
brings a lot of economic prosperity to France.
Thierry Hermes benefits from this trend
and is able to continiously enlarge his business.
Empress Eugenie would have loved the commercials todays Hermes company
made with Clement Sibony for Terre d'Hermes,
even though they might have been a little to much for her époque.
The new Hermes Company
1859 february 12 Charles Emile Hermes marries Aline Fanny Le Pavec.
1859 Sun Charles Emile Hermes takes the management
of the already well established Hermes company.
1867 Hermes wins a medal at the Expo Universelle.
1870 Franco Prussion war ending in the End of the Second Empire.
Difficult times for France.
1878 Thierry Hermes dies
1880 shortly after the death of Thierry Hermes
the company moved to a new location on 24 rue du Faubourg St Honoré,
the initial store beeing anulled by he Second Empire urbanisation projects.
Issue - Hermes children
Thierry Hermes is survived
by his son
Charles Emile Hermes (1831- 1919)
and three grandchildren
Adolphe Hermes (1860 - 1933)
Aline Emile Hermes (1870 - 1959)
Emile Maurice Hermes (1871 - 1951)
Thierry Hermes did not know his great grand-daughters
Yvonne Hermes (1901 - 1996) married to Francis Puech
Jacqueline Hermes (1903 - 1970) married to Robert Dumas
Simone Hermes (1905-1920)
Aline Hermes (1907 - 2006) married to the perfumer Jean René Guerrand
Visiting Thierry Hermes
When you come to Paris,
visit the historic Hermes Store on 29 Faubourg St Honoré.
It's one of the world's most fascinating clothing store
decorated like a museum
with hundreds of horse paintings.
Thierry Hermes is looking at you
right in the main staircase ...
- the Hermes company after Thierry Hermes
- discover the Hermes Stores around the World
- Books related to the universe of Hermes
- Hermes perfumes
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