On December 9th, iconic French fashion house Hermès kicked off its mind-blowing immersive theatre show “On the Wings of Hermès” at the West Bund Art Center in Shanghai. After hitting up Tokyo, Paris, Taipei, LA, and Hong Kong, this globetrotting spectacle landed in Shanghai, promising a wild ride for the audience into the whimsical and dreamy universe of Hermès.
According to artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the show serves as a metaphor for lightness, something he believes infuses everything at Hermès from “the delicate hands of [its] craftsmen sewing with two needles at once” to “the elegance of materials, and in the subtle notes of a perfume”.
We saw a similarly abstract take on brand storytelling earlier this year with Prada’s Seed Project, in which the Italian fashion house invited the public to plant, nurture, and appreciate flowers. The brand highlighted this initiative as an exploration of beauty, care, and love, or what it calls “eternal, timeless values of humanity.”
“On the Wings of Hermès” takes this kind of philosophical contemplation into the realm of performance, offering a different kind of interactivity to the Seed Project. The show is the brainchild of film director Jaco Van Dormael and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey, who have previously collaborated on two genre-bending stage productions for De Mey’s Astragales dance company. Like the pair’s previous efforts, “On the Wings of Hermès” is a collision of contemporary dance, object theatre, and cinema, this time creating a fantastical Hermès universe.
The show is sure to delight families and fashion enthusiasts, as well as urbanites looking for a unique experience in the city. Even more importantly for Hermès, the unique experience is set to forge a strong connection with aspiring and long-time luxury consumers alike, reigniting Hermès’ image as a brand with craftsmanship and ambition at its core.