McDonough School of Business
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Hermès, Contemporary Artisan and Retailer. A Virtual Conversation with Florian Craen

Florian Craen, Hermès’ executive vice president of sales and distribution, discussed the company’s rich history and vast success over the past century at an event hosted by the Georgetown Retail & Luxury Association (GRLA) and the Global Business Initiative (GBI) on March 18.

Craen joined Hermès in 1997, a time since the scale of the company has grown immensely. Hermès began in 1837 as a saddle maker and is one of only a handful of original saddle makers that have successfully adapted and survived to the present day. The company has garnered its reputation as the premier contemporary artisan and retailer in the world through maintaining a strong brand identity and a remarkable attention to detail.

During the event, Craen outlined the four main pillars of Hermès: creation, production, communication, and stores. Each of Hermès’ 306 stores showcases a unique selection of products and designs that fit the unique clientele and personality of the store’s location. In this sense, the stores are emblematic of Hermès: no detail is overlooked in the brand’s pursuit of creating a retail experience that “makes you dream.”

Looking ahead, Hermès sees its e-commerce store as the space that will carry the broadest offerings of its collection while its brick-and-mortar locations will provide more personalized shopping experiences. Craen also noted that Hermès is inherently sustainable as it offers long-lasting and specialized products.

This story was originally published by the Georgetown Retail & Luxury Association (GRLA).

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