As befitting a brand that specialises in discreet, exceptionally expensive subversion, French fashion house Hermès has unveiled a collection of skateboards and longboards. In the same vein as Chanel's snowboard and Saint Laurent's stiletto-roller skates (although, admittedly, the latter are just for show), the Hermès skateboard takes an item straight from the street and gives it a luxury makeover.
It was perhaps only a matter of time before Hermès made the leap from saddles and skipping ropes to skateboards; however, as with everything that the brand does, the quality here is superb. Available in two sizes, skateboard and longboard, and in three designs, these wheeled objets d'art are made from seven layers of laminated Vosges maple and flax. Maple is known for its flexibility and lightness, making it ideal for skateboards.
In this instance, the topside of the board is decorated with a Cavalcadour pattern. It was first envisaged by Hermès's legendary artistic director Henri d'Origny, who has been behind many of the house's most recognisable motifs since he joined in 1958. This particular pattern is inspired by the belts and buckles from horse riding tack, and has adorned scarves, pocket squares, ties, and now a skateboard.
Skateboarding is believed to have been invented in California sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s, by bored surfers. Looking to recreate the feeling of riding waves when there were none, someone came up with the idea of nailing wheels to a plank of wood, and the skateboard was born. Refined many times since then, it has now officially made its way into the world of high fashion. Skateboards are short and light, offering enough flexibility needed for tricks, while longboards are longer and used for cruising and racing. This baby is probably best suited to the halfpipe, but, given its sizeable price tag, it'll be a brave soul who takes it out of the house.
The skateboard will be available from late September, online and in select Hermès boutiques worldwide.
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