PaperCity Magazine

December 2015 - Houston

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The Fine Art of Flâneur and French Fêtes at the new Hermès ANNE LEE PHILLIPS TIES HER CARRÉ JUST SO. PHOTOGRAPHY FULTON DAVENPORT. Flâneur: the Parisian art of urban wandering. In describing the theme Flâneur Forever for Hermès' creative direction this year, artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas wrote in the magazine Le Monde D'Hermès, "This stroller spots the novel in the humdrum, the unseen in the déjà vu, the far away in the local. The flâneur gathers and gleans like a bee among flowers." The opening fête of the stunning new flagship Hermès store in River Oaks District was a very special — and very French — celebration of such flâneur. Dressed to impress in the brand's silk scarves and colorful ties, with Birkin and Kelly bags in tow, a very curious crowd — as the boutique was still under construction at the date of the party — convened in the main courtyard of River Oaks District for an al fresco champagne toast with U.S. prez/CEO Bob Chavez and SVP of communications Peter Malachi, both in from New York; exec Florian Craen, in from Paris; and store manager Jeremy Garcia, who dreamed up the soirée. Grand double doors in the courtyard opened to reveal a gorgeous French market (la petite marché) with market-fresh food stands and twinkly lights, constructed in an adjacent courtyard just for the evening. A jazz band played in front of trompe l'oeil panels depicting the Hermès Café, while fragrances from the fresh flower stand filled the air. Straw French market totes were passed to each guest, who moved from station to station filling totes with fresh produce, artisanal cheese, French wines, charcuterie and fresh bouquets while dining on chilled lobster tails from the raw bar and Killen's barbecue. Fresh baguettes from La Boulangerie featured the Constance H logo dusted in flour. Illustrator Caitlin McGauley flew in from New York to live-sketch portraits of guests — the queue for her station wrapped around the market as guests vied for an original. Ah, c'était magnifique. Strolling en plein air: Estela and David Cockrell, Brian McCulloch, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Lucinda Loya, Lindsey Looke, Nicole Katz, Randy Powers, Holly Radom, Erin Florescu, Anna Hernandez, and Yvette McNeil. THE GRAND REVEAL A fortnight later, the 8,484-square-foot, two-story flagship opened to much fanfare, with a très chic throng filling the gorgeous RDAI-designed store, where they snapped up dozens of limited-edition Kermit Oliver-designed scarves (emblazoned with "Houston 2015") re-issued for the opening, and other special merchandise in town for the debut. One fortunate customer secured the diamond- encrusted Birkin reserved for store openings. While Hermès has been in Houston since 1989, the new store represents the home it has long deserved, elegantly presenting all 16 product categories, including women's, men's and equestrian apparel, leather bags, silk ties and scarves, jewelry, tableware and home furnishings. DECEMBER | PAGE 10 | 2015 Anais Nguyen Caitlin McGauley Tory Turek Chloe Nguyen Colin Moussa Matthew Grieves Monica Bailey Bickers Florian Craen Estela Cockrell David Cockrell Penny Wright Jeremy Garcia Peter Malachi The one-night-only Hermès Cafe Bob Chavez Tory Turek Charlotte Johnson Krystal Hewitt Lynn Yeager Erin Florescu Ivanna Montenegro Anna Hernandez Lauren Nguyen Jane DiPaolo Teague Vicki West Cody Soutar Courtney Hopson Brian McCulloch Mickaël Zibi Hermès branded baguettes Jazz Band Lilian Rendon, Leslie Sharp Nicole Katz Hanna Struever David Bamford Holly Radom Alexandra Harlan Gottschalk Brady Night Gary Nguyen Leslie Strauss Forrest Roth Lauren Freeman Barbecue du Texas Jennifer Roosth Duyen Huynh

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