Parisian luxury brand Hermes launches first store in India

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New Delhi, Oct 17 (UNI) Parisian luxury brand Hermes here today launched its first store in India with the company CEO Patrick Thomas saying it will soon set up a manufacturing centre in the country.

Talking to UNI, Mr Thomas said, ''This is our formal launch. We had a softer opening five months earlier in May. We are currently planning to set up a creation centre here for which there is no fixed deadline. We are meeting a company tomorrow to discuss the project.'' Asked what made Hermes choose India as a market, he said, ''We were planning to venture out here but postponed it till we were fully ready. The Indian craftsmanship is exceptional and there is a very fine understanding of jewellery in Asia. We are here to make exchanges with India. Firstly through enriching our creative patrimony and secondly, we will have products made exclusively here.'' He asserted that Indians could identify with Hermes as it was a house of accessory-making.

''Our brand is not just about fashion. It is also about craftsmanship which can be seen in our stitchings. We are full of respect for the taste of the Indian customer of Hermes.

They have a fantastic taste comaparable to that of the Italians,'' Mr Thomas said.

The Hermes' India store has 14 different departments comprising menswear, womenswear, handbags, wallets, shoes, tablewear, lifestyle products like belts, fragrances, cigar boxes, photo frames and even baby articles.

Its fashion accessories include enamel and leather bracelets besides gold and platinum jewellery.

Above all, there is an 'Equitation' section having everything to do with horses like saddlewear. When asked the idea behind the section in the Indian market, Hermes Retail Manager (India) Anuradha Nair said, ''It's where our brand actually started. We cannot forget our roots.'' When asked why a globe-trotting Indian would buy from here when all latest products were said to arrive first and much earlier in the the Hermes' Paris store, company Director for India Neelam Khanna said, ''We have the latest up to date collection at our store. If you will see a jacket here, it would be from the latest collection.'' UNI PK SG DS1430

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