Hermès’ ‘Bolide’ bag has long encapsulated a mood of adventure and escape, the zippered carryall first designed in 1923 for cross-country drivers to protect their belongings as they raced around the world at speed (Émile-Maurice Hermès, grandson of house founder Thierry Hermès, dreamt up the bag after travelling to the United States to see Henry Ford’s automobile factory in the early 1920s).
For her S/S 2022 collection, artistic director of the house’s men’s universe Véronique Nichanian looked to a more contemporary – but no less adventurous – mode of transport, reimagining the ‘Bolide’s freewheeling spirit a century on. Replacing the bag’s usual leather base with the gently curved deck of a skateboard, four metal studs in lieu of wheels, the ‘Bolide Skate’ is the type of hybrid that Nichanian has proved adept at dreaming up – its colourful underside revealed only when the bag is held aloft, a playful design trick as captivating as a skater mid-flight.
‘It aims to encourage people to get out and roam, a desire that we all share,’ said Nichanian of the S/S 2022 collection itself, the ‘Bolide Skate’ bag symbolic of the season’s carefree and escapist mood. Rushes of colour and bold graphic motifs struck a similarly optimistic note, like the pattern found on the board’s underside, which melds three different archival prints taken from the house’s signature silk twill scarves – combined, they reimagine Hermès’ past anew.
It is one of many details in the collection that appear only on closer inspection, when held in the hand, felt against the skin, or worn over the shoulder. It makes for an illusion of simplicity that epitomises Nichanian’s own meticulous approach to menswear, and the discreet but irreverent luxury of Hermès.
A version of this article appears in the May 2022 issue of Wallpaper*, on newsstands now and available to subscribers (opens in new tab)
Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.
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