Hermès à tire-d’aile


Les mondes de Leïla Menchari
For thirty-five years, the nonpareil storyteller Leïla Menchari was the imagination behind the window displays at 24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, each one a paean to superb craftsmanship. Their rich history is the subject of a show at the Grand Palais this autumn, from 8th November to 3rd December 2017.
Leïla Menchari

Photography: Edouard Boubat

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.

Leïla Menchari and Jean-Louis Dumas in Uganda 1996

Photography: Jean-Louis Dumas