Hermès may once have been famously out of reach for many, but with the launch of its equally exquisite beauty line in 2020, more of us are certainly able to enjoy a piece of the pie. Hermès Beauty’s creative director, Gregoris Pyrpylis, who was appointed earlier in 2022 and made a lasting impression with the release of Plein Air, Hermès’ first complexion collection, brings a notably multidisciplinary approach to make-up.
Raised in a family of pharmacists before studying English at university, Pyrpylis fell into make-up quite by accident after spontaneously giving a friend a makeover. Following an illustrious career at brands like MAC, Bioderma and Shiseido, Pyrpylis now drives the house’s vision and development for make-up.
‘I see Hermès Beauty as a perpetual and non-ending quest for wellbeing,’ Pyrpylis says. ‘A place of elegance and comfort where people are invited to express themselves in their own way without imposed looks and rules, all the facets of their innermost nature, and elevate their true, unique beauty.
The essence of Hermès Beauty is found in self-expression, creativity, freedom and simplicity. It truly aligns in a way with the ideal of beauty – ‘Kallos’ in Ancient Greece – that occupied the greatest philosophers of the era, where beauty was not only about the appearance but also connected to the virtues and the wellbeing of the soul and mind.’
Hermès Rouge Grenade lipstick: exclusive to New York
In honour of the recent opening of the revamped Hermès boutique in New York, Pyrpylis devised a limited-edition lipstick – Rouge Grenade – a rich shade of pomegranate that has been an emblematic shade of leather for the house since 2015. Encased in an equally vibrant bullet, designed by Pierre Hardy to celebrate the Year of the Tiger (2022) and pay homage to the pomegranate, a symbol of luck and vitality, this limited-edition shade is exclusive to the Madison Avenue boutique.
‘The new boutique on 706 Madison is a place where anyone can truly and holistically experience the universe of Hermès,’ Pyrpylis shares. ‘The entire place, on every floor, has a very inviting, welcoming and warm atmosphere. [On] the ground floor, we find our very singular space, the Hermès perfume and beauty chapel. I say chapel, because at first sight you will see that it’s a very unexpected place, reminiscent of a unique, cosy yet majestic, almost sacred place. A domed space, dressed in tones of antique-gold hues, reflecting beautifully the light on our beauty objects. What I also love is that the makeup station is placed in a way that you get absolute privacy, so you can spend time with our beauty advisors and feel like home.’
If Pyrpylis’ ethos behind Hermès Plein Air is anything to go by, Hermès Beauty is set to redefine what luxury cosmetics are. He says, ‘At Hermès there’s always been a great connection between the house and open air, outdoors. The Hermès Plein Air collection is fully in keeping with this approach of an essential object that adapts to the skin, reveals natural beauty, and accompanies the movement of the body in the outdoors with a light touch.’
He adds, ‘What drew my attention in the world of make up was not achieving perfection in beauty, the physical appearance is subjective anyway. It’s more about expressing what I think that beauty is. By bringing out the inner nature of a personality, expressing its every facet, revealing a side of the personality that is there, not transforming it, simply elevating it, it’s a matter of boosting confidence, which is also an approach that has been inked in the DNA of the house of Hermès.’
With Hermès Beauty distilling aspects of the house’s history, philosophy and craftsmanship into handheld form, from its covetable design and carefully considered formulations to the choice of shades that nod to the house’s heritage and forward-looking refillable nature, the collections have proved to be irresistible.
Pyrplyis concludes, ‘We have an open dialogue with the past, present and future, a deep connection to time. We are beyond trends and believe both in beauty that is timeless yet contemporary, in the revelation of the personality, in the uniqueness of a person. This singularity is what we find beautiful. Now in this new chapter, what I like the most is diving into the archives of the most iconic house of luxury and learning, hearing stories, seeing photographs and then trying to transcribe the essence into the Hermès beauty objects. That’s the most exciting part!’
Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
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