Saturday 17 December 2011

H is for Horse and Hermes

Beautiful portraits of horses by South African born, British raised photographer Koto Bolofo.

Koto Bolofo’s dream came true in 2004 when he started working for Monde d’Hermès, the Hermès magazine, and met the Chairman.

Mr Dumas asked where I came from. I said South Africa. He asked what part. I said Lesotho.

He was shocked and very excited. He explained that his great great great grandfather was a missionary in Lesotho and that the Zulus used to attack his mission, but the Sothos – my tribe – protected him.

I was very happy to be a Lesothan in Mr Dumas’s office that day.

He called me his cousin and said that his cousin was welcome any time

and I had carte blanche to photograph what I liked in Hermès”.

Koto Bolofo worked his way through all the workshops of the Maison Hermès, getting to know the craftsmen and discovering how everything is made: from handbags, perfumes, scarves, prêt-à-porter, and shoes to the original objects of the house, saddles. Nothing escaped his lens, even the most secret places, such as the museum, a treasure trove of history and all things Hermès tucked away in the midst of the Maison on rue du faubourg St Honoré.

The result is a beautiful book, titled ‘La Maison‘,

revealing behind-the-scenes of one of the oldest fashion houses in France.

 La Maison is a tome of 11 volumes published by Steidl. Each book is dedicated to a theme illustrating the Hermès brand identity: horses, saddles, the Kelly bag, clothes, perfume, the Bugatti Veyron, the gardens, the special orders, silk, John Lobb and the Emile Hermès collection.

Koto Bolofo  is the first photographer to have the privilege of a free licence around the Hermès ateliers.


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