Hermès Saddles Up

Axel Dumas on the French House's Newest Seat

We don’t make saddles to sell perfumes,” declares Axel Dumas, current director of leather goods and saddlery at Hermès. “We do saddles as we want world class champions to have them, because they are the best.” The luxury company has certainly stepped up its game with the unveiling of its latest creation, the Talaris. The new saddle––the first of its kind––combines the quality and traditional craftsmanship that Hermès is known for with an innovative lightweight carbon fiber “tree” (the rigid middle section of the saddle), subverting the traditional inflexible wood and steel frames. Following almost six years of development and rigorous trial, the saddle was finally put to the most important test of all when Hermès lent one of the coveted pieces of tack to Julien Epaillard for the Saut Hermès show-jumping event at the Grand Palais in Paris in April. For Dumas––of sixth generation Hermès stock––the heritage of the company within Parisian sport was truly solidified at the prestigious contest when legendary French rider Pierre Jonquères d’Oriola agreed to act as a consultant. “He brought in the Hermès saddle he had used when he won one of the last competitions staged in the Grand Palais in 1954,” he says. “It was quite a touching moment.”


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