back in 2011, after a lengthy period of saving and research, i purchased a dream item: a vintage 1990s Hermès Kelly. it was beautiful and unique in every way, down to the fact that the original owner had her initials discreetly stamped onto the flap.
it didn't occur to me until recently to think again about the monogram. (it's blindstamped, so virtually invisible unless you really look for it up close.) a search on TPF yielded a variety of attitudes; most were against the idea from a symbolic and 'value' (aka resale) point of view. a few made exceptions depending on the qualities of the bag and the visibility of the lettering, but the general consensus was rather negative.
it made me wonder: what's really in a name? is a monogram really different from a brand name stamped in gold? what about the craftsman's stamp on H bags, the mark of the person who made the bag by hand from start to finish? what does it really mean to 'own' a piece of luxury?
the other night, i happened upon this beautifully composed documentary about Hermès. the title alone, "Hearts and Crafts", is wonderful!
i'd recommend settling in with a cup of tea or a glass of wine (or two) before hitting play. it's a moving, illuminating film that tells the stories of the men and women – the heart and soul, really – behind such an iconic brand. in a world where the consumer obsession with status symbols and 'investment purchases' often dominate the conversation, it's a revelation to rethink the meaning of luxury from the perspective of the makers:
"Simply adding the craftsman's mark is a proud act, knowing your bag will travel the world, and be carried around by someone. It becomes theirs but remains ours. It contains our soul and our stitching. It has our mark on it."perhaps the ultimate appreciation of a vintage Hermès creation has less to do with any singular notion of ownership. perhaps it comes down to what it represents: the people, craft, and personal stories that make it luxurious, and loved.
what do you think?