The Hermès Foundation

For more than 175 years, the house of Hermès had dazzled, delighted and signified the upmost in luxury brand goods. But in its nearly two-centuries worth of existence, the brand has also celebrated a continued commitment to supporting men and women in projects that promote craft skills, creative arts, education, training and environmental issues.

Founded in 2008, The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès is guided on a principle focus to explore know-how and creativity and know-how and the transmission of skills. In an interview with Billionaire, Catherine Tsékénis, the director of the foundation, outlined just how Hermès is changing with an ever-changing landscape.

One of the more poignant points of the interview was when Tsékénis detailed exactly what sets Hermès apart from such a saturated industry. It is, in essence, the very thing that separates Hèrmes from its competitors. “We’re different because not many foundations are focused on know-how and craftsmanship,” she noted. “We are also between two models of existing foundations today: we don’t have a proper space such as a museum but, at the same time, we are not a passive foundation that just waits to receive projects and says: “Okay, here’s a signed cheque in support.” We create our own programmes that ask questions based on a very specific problem in today’s society.”

The desire to be different is one of the program’s core values – and at the heart of the organization’s future. “As a foundation, our role is to be useful and to observe the trends in society and the changes in the world. Yes, we need to reflect the values of the house of Hermès, but we must also adapt and answer the problems of society as it evolves.”

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