Encounter with a stunning storyteller
“I have always loved storytelling. And here, that’s all I do.”
“Here”, of course, is Hermès. Her home since 1961. That was the year when this graduate of the Beaux-Arts in Paris (and of the Tunis art school before that), a daughter of a strongly Francophile lawyer from a land-owning family in northen Tunisia, knocked on the door of Annie Beaumel, creator of the window displays at 24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. On seeing her drawings, Annie Beaumel, director of Hermès’ window displays and pioneer of their extraordinary staging, was ecstatic: “You are a dreamer, aren’t you!” and invited her to return, saying: “Draw me your dreams!”. Leïla Menchari had found her profession: enchanting the many by giving free rein to her unbridled imagination.
When designing a scene, there must always be some mystery, for mystery is the springboard to dreams. Mystery is an invitation to fill in the gaps left by the imagination. This is how Leïla Menchari explains one of the secrets behind the success of her flamboyant window displays. […] With the ‘Hermès à tire-d’aile – Les mondes de Leïla Menchari’ exhibition, I invite you to share this otherworldliness composed of travel, mischief and beauty… Once again, Leïla Menchari is enchanting us.
Chief Executive Officer, Hermès
8th November – 3rd December 2017
Grand Palais / galerie sud-est
Leïla Menchari painting
Photography: Jean-Louis Dumas