Here at Wallpaper* HQ, we’re in a spin over Hermèsmatic – a pop-up laundrette which opens today on King Street in Manchester. The space, situated over two floors of a historic corner building, allows Hermès fans to dip dye their pre-loved silk scarves designed by the house, into five scintillating shades, from denim-blue to fuchsia.
The two-storey spectacle, envisaged brilliantly in Hermès orange, features rows of washing machines, and boxes of branded washing-up powder (Andy Warhol would approve). The first Hermès silk scarf was created in 1937, and over the past 80 years, its original 90x90cm style has been reinterpreted in over 2,000 graphic, colourful and equestrian-inspired designs. Now, customers have the chance to bring their own creative spin to the brand’s canon.
Since 1948, Hermès scarves have been weaved and printed in Lyon, but the Hermèsmatic pop-up has placed creativity in the hands of its customers in Paris, New York, Kyoto and Dubai. Today marks the pop-up’s first UK iteration. It boasts a Marigold-orange spiral staircase, and a second floor level populated with sleek upholstered bar stools, futuristic rows of round mirrors, and kitsch plastic laundry baskets. Each floor is dotted with hanging rows of newly dyed Hermès scarves, first finished in tumble dryers, for that must-have soft touch.
The second floor of the Hermèsmatic pop-up laundrette on King Street in Manchester
It’s a playful and immersive way of highlighting the heritage of Hermès, one which encourages a more youthful audience to become attuned to the beauty of silk scarves passed down through generations. Increasingly, the house has tapped burgeoning creatives to convey its craftsmanship-focused history. At the Twilly D’Hermès fragrance launch last month at Saatchi Gallery, the brand worked with London-based Parenthesis Studio on an interactive space evoking the hidden playgrounds of Paris.
Equally playful is the packaging used to present the newly dyed Hermèsmatic creations. Once customers have dropped their vintage scarves at the King Street space, they are ready to collect two days later from the house’s exclusive store within Selfridges’ Exchange Square outpost, packaged in brown paper bags and sealed with an orange Hermès sticker. What a way to do your washing.