Shopping New York | Hermès Men’s on Madison | A Continuous Lean.

Shopping New York | Hermès Men’s on Madison

May 16th, 2012 | Categories: Menswear, New York City, Shopping | by Michael Williams

A few years ago when Hermès renovated its NYC flagship it decided to exile its men’s shop across the street to its very own stand alone shop. This resulted in a first for the storied French luxury brand, the world’s only Hermès men’s shop. Not only is it exclusively menswear, the shop also boasts one of the most lust worthy bespoke programs ever imagined. It’s like a French Savile Row, except the work rooms aren’t downstairs, they’re in Paris.

The bottom two levels offer a normal selection of accessories and sportswear that have made Hermès the most well respected luxury brands in the world. But it’s when you land on the third floor that you discover the truly magical items — shirts, sweaters, suits, leather goods and, of course, ties — that comprise the Hermès bespoke program.

Bespoke options include optional linings made from Hermès scarves. Next level stuff here folks.

When making a bespoke suit, you can choose to line the jacket with the iconic Hermès silk scarves. This process requires going across the street to the Hermès women’s shop to select and purchase the four scarves that it will take to finish the jacket. These scarves are then shipping off to France where the suits are made. This obviously adds significantly to the price of the suit, but if you are getting a bespoke suit made at Hermès this is likely of little concern.

Hermès message ties.

You can add a special message to a custom tie.

The custom shirt program is extensive all of the custom shirts are made in France. Hermès offers a massive selection of collars, cuffs and fabrics, all cut to your exact measurements. There is also an option for a especially design monogram or cipher should you want to take the personalization further. Hermès can make almost anything into a custom monograph: family crest, initials or whatever else you could desire. Apparently, there are some limits to this, profanity being one indulgence in which Hermès must abstain.

With the bespoke program, each shirt fit has its own pattern made specifically to your specifications. To achieve an exacting fit, after the measurements are sent to Paris a muslin mock up is sent from the workshop there to the store in NYC for a fitting. Any changes that need to be made are done with the muslin and will be reflected in the final shirt. It’s a process more focused on quality than speed or price. If a shirt is needed quickly, Hermès offers ready to wear options in various sizes, or the made to measure program is slightly faster. The bespoke (and this is certainly one of the few legitimate uses of that word) shirts are some of the finest, if not the best, men’s shirts available anywhere in the world.

The procedure for the suits is done in much of the same way. Measurements, fabric selections, style selections, lining decisions, muslins are made, the final suit is crafted and then more fittings. All of this is done between the store in New York and the work shops in Paris. It’s a long process, but one that yields fantastic results.

A bespoke shirt muslin.

Another option is the custom cashmere program, where you can basically design your own sweater. The whole idea at Hermès is to make people the product they want, within reason of course. The way I understand it, the custom program is highly flexible and accommodating — so long as money is not an issue and you have a healthy amount of patience. In this case, it is very apparent that good things do come to those who wait.

Below are sizing options for the MTM suits, which are based off several existing models and styles. A classic fit and a more modern slim fit, all of which are very nice in their own right.

Hermès Men’s | 690 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10065 | (212) 308-3585

Comments: 20

20 Comments to “Shopping New York | Hermès Men’s on Madison”

  1. steven wade
    on May 16th, 2012
    @ 9:47 PM

    bookmarked for when i get really, really rich.

  2. JD
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 1:00 AM

    This would define the term “Ballin’ outta control”

  3. shopping
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 1:46 AM

    Wow.. amazing post.. I love the ties especially.

  4. art
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 7:31 AM

    I love how you have to go buy the scarves for the lining yourself and send them back to France to be put into the jacket. The process is as important as the product.

  5. NSK
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 1:40 PM

    This is the first time I’m hearing about Hermes doing something for men beyond RTW and accessories. That’s why I was left wondering when I read this: “The bespoke (and this is certainly one of the few legitimate uses of that word) shirts are some of the finest, if not the best, men’s shirts available anywhere in the world… It’s a long process, but one that yields fantastic results.”

    Can we see some finished products from the bespoke line? We realize it’s expensive – you certainly hammered that point – but it’s hard to tell whether we’re paying more for the brand name as opposed to quality. It would be good to read something more substantial than merely breathless praise.

  6. Michael Williams
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 1:47 PM

    @NSK You should stop in the store at some point and see the product for yourself. The point of ACL is not to tell you every detail as to why something is the best, it’s to bring things to your attention that you might not have otherwise considered. With ACL I like to think I am making you aware of things that I think are good and also to implore you to learn more on your own. Then you can make decisions as to what you think is good. That’s why I like to call ACL a discovery agent. Because everyone has an opinion on what is good and what they will pay money for.

  7. Sir Fopling Flutter
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 4:13 PM

    I have to say that shipping things back and forth multiple times across the Atlantic doesn’t sound ideal. It seems to me almost like a visiting tailor type operation, but instead of a Savile Row tailor operating out of a hotel suite for a few days and shipping things back and forth for fittings, it’s all done from permanent premises. You can certainly get very good results doing this, but it’s still less optimal than having the cutters (and ideally also the workrooms) on site.

    Now, bespoke leather goods, which don’t need multiple fittings and are made in Hermes’s French workshops are another story entirely.

  8. Mark Paigen
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 4:33 PM

    Very interesting and obviously oriented toward the uber-rich. I’m sure that my curiosity about the price reflects my inability to come up with the dough. We all seem to have a curious facination with the top end of the market. I like to pay for quality, but am in a different zip code from what I guess this will cost.

  9. francis
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 4:50 PM

    Hermes is some good stuff indeed, and especially when they told Bernard Arnault (LVMH top guy for those who don’t know) “thanks, but no thanks” to sell off their company…

    As far as I know, Tom Ford was the only other (when he was at Gucci) who was uninterested in a buy-out.

    Not everyone can be bought!

  10. Ray Hull
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 4:57 PM

    Are they still stocking John Lobb shoes there? They always had a minimal selection and they’d send me packing down to a store in the Waldorf. I finally found a pair of Williams that I wanted in their Geneva store, where the leathersmith (immaculately groomed in a suit and tie, but then shed teh jacket and donned a leather apron) in the front window actually punched an additional hole in the top strap while I waited. You should have seen that prep: Like surgery with all the measuring and draping and double checking…all under the gaze of passer-bys.

  11. jj
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 5:47 PM

    I always feel like an intruder in these stores even though I have a decent income. Then again, I feel the same way when I go to thrift stores to scrounge for treasures. I guess that puts me in the middle class :). I agree with the great ties comment. I wanted to jokingly put a comment up about loving the white stitching on the suits. I wanted to be that guy who leaves the label on the suit arm that you see walking around from time to time.

  12. tapered jeans for men
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 8:38 PM

    The custom shirt program is quite amazing. I’m sure the price is right as for the quality but for me, first matters is always the price.

  13. Oscar Udeshi
    on May 18th, 2012
    @ 7:35 AM

    If you ever get to the main Ginza store, the men’s MTM section is quite impressive, and quite big given the price of Tokyo real estate.

  14. Trudy
    on May 18th, 2012
    @ 11:12 AM

    Great post! I love the workmanship, I’ve study bespoke pattern making and tailoring for the past 5 years. I’d love to see a story, or hear about how men feel about the buttons on the sleeves of their suite. I’ve noticed that modern jackets, and in the Hermés jackets in your photos, the buttons on the sleeves seem more crowded than historical jackets. I’d love to see the evolution of button placement! But I’m a bit of a nerd that way.

  15. Jeff
    on May 18th, 2012
    @ 2:02 PM

    Nice. Thanks. Love Hermes.

    Their magazine Le Monde D’Hermes has great articles discussing the workmanship that goes into their products. One article on the RTW shirts also made in France (as with everything Hermes) reads:

    “Seven stitches per centimetre of material. As opposed to the more usual five. Those two extra stitches are a small, almost hidden luxury. They mean that the finish of each hem, each buttonhole, will be more elegant as well as exceptionally solid.” – No. 43 page 62.

    And it goes on…

    Thanks again for the article.

  16. Mik1916
    on May 20th, 2012
    @ 11:03 PM

    As an occasional hermes shopper, (a belt, few ties, formal scarf for dinner jacket and a black skeletal Arceau watch) i can say i still get quite excited entering the downtown store in the financial district. I have always wondered at the relative unpopularity of the MTM and ready to wear suits. The bespoke suits are extremely expensive and almost beyond reach to 99.9% of men but not neccessarily more expensive than the best italian bespoke like attolini and Rubinacci and Brioni which seem far more popular. The workmanship of any hermes item i have ever handled is outrageous, they really are perhaps the last of the super craftsmen who hold true to the handmade ethos sparing no time or cost. the suits,do always seem quite traditional with some modern touches like slimmer fit and slightly narrower lapels than 10 years ago but i dont think a Hermes sit should be flashy, just made to such an exacting degree that people will know only that u have taken the time to invest in a lifetime piece. That being said i dont think i will be investing one just yet as I would have to raid my savings! But after picking up a summer weight Canali double breasted a few weeks ago and really enjoying the beautiful worksmanship it does make me want to have 3 or 4 drinks try on an off the rack Hermes and consult with their tailor and wind up purchasing it without my normal sober sense. I have found doing that over the years has provided me some of my favorite sartorial items. You only live once.

  17. Pat S
    on May 21st, 2012
    @ 10:56 AM

    @jeff

    where did you (can I) find a copy of Le Monde D’Hermes?

  18. bt
    on May 23rd, 2012
    @ 7:06 PM

    A fried who had two bespoke suits made at the hermes mens store in NYC and was extremely disappointed in the time it took to complete and then the quality and fit of the suits considering the absurd price paid.

  19. Jeff
    on May 24th, 2012
    @ 2:44 PM

    @ Pat S. They are at most Hermes shops. Although sometimes they are out so you may have to try back.

  20. David Himel
    on May 25th, 2012
    @ 7:56 AM

    regarding bespoke…..i have some experience making bespoke leather jackets. I send out canvass mockups of the jackets and get back surprising results. Fit is not just a combination of measurements…which most committed sartorialists know in advance. It is also the nature in which the pattern works, and the material characteristics. Each pattern and the fabric affects the comfort and fit and hang of any garment. As well every individual has a very particular desire for a particular fit. Some want a more binding jacket, some want a looser fit, some will wear a sweater, and some will not. These have been the major observations thus far…so I can guess that there are some who get custom measured and will never be happy with the fit of the suit, jacket or pant because they didnt actually like the original garment. The safest way to custom fit a garment is to try an off the rack version first and see if you like the cut, and the fabric before getting one made or tweaked.