Hermès has been a destination for the distinguished since 1837, uniting those who have an appreciation of creativity, craft, detail and, of course, excellence. Fast forward, and these principles remain at the heart of Hermès today, evident not only through its collections but also its brand-new flagship store.
Presenting 706 Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side, the outpost reaffirms the Maison’s love of New York; a brick-and-mortar ode to the city, it combines the vibrancy and sparkle of the metropolis with classic Parisian elegance.
Offering 20,250 sq ft of retail space across four floors, it promises a complete and packaged brand experience that’ll hit the senses and showcase the foundations on which Hermès is built. Consisting of three existing buildings, all of which are connected by the Parisian architecture agency RDAI, led by Denis Montel, the central structure dons the Federalist style (it was once an outpost of the Bank of New York in the 1920s), with the adjacent buildings meeting in an L-shape encasing the Bank.
As for the interiors, other odes can be seen as it draws inspiration from Art Deco New York and its early Manhattan skyscrapers, complete with contrasting angles and curves for real visual impact.
Original architectural and design features, such as the statement staircase, are set against contemporary decor details in each unique salon, cue handcrafted wallpaper, varying finishes, and a contrasting color palette with neutrals alongside striking hues that are punctuated with artworks — a real treat for the eyes. The cherry on top? Well, that has to be its rooftop garden, un peu de Paris on the Upper East Side.
President and CEO of Hermès Americas, Robert Chavez shares his five things to know about the glistening New York flagship.
Design – The Hermes Maison Madison Building
When conceptualizing the design of the building, we wanted to keep the integrity of the central structure that reflects the Federalist Style that was popular in the 1920s when the building was the Bank of New York. As a result, you will also find original details, such as the staircase that connects the first and second floors and the coffered ceilings that were kept from the Bank’s original design. We also have the original bank plaque in the store that lists the founders and directors, with Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr among the listed.
Location – Where Paris meets the Upper East Side
Hermes has a long-standing relationship with New York City. Our first independent store opened in the 1930s at 1 East 53rd Street. As clients enter from the primary entrance, they are greeted with the Hansom Cab from the 1830s from the Émile Hermès collection, which emulates the colors of a quintessential New York City Taxi. It was also essential for us when choosing the location that there was harmony and balance in the Maison surroundings. And what better place than the epicenter and trinity of art, nature, and tony commerce.
Themes – Behind the Orange Curtain
To celebrate our grand opening, we wanted to highlight our Maison with a lighthearted theatrical musical for our guests to experience. “Love Around the Block” was written by Isaac Oliver. It showcased a love story between the fictional character Max who played the store director of 706 Madison Flagship, and his ex-Joanna, who played a reporter who returned to Max’s life to report on the flagship opening. It was important for us to have our guests experience what took place behind the orange curtain, and it was essential for us to immerse them in a playful experience for this momentous milestone — that will be discussed for many months to come.
Detailing – The Interior and Exterior Space
Craftsmanship and quality are at the forefront of Hermes. It was essential for us to match the overall energy and craftsmanship of the Maison to the product offering. Floor by floor, there is a beautiful selection of materials used, and the color palettes intensify as the client proceeds through their shopping experience. The fourth floor of the building is dominated by a striking foliage motif designed by the French artist Francois Houtin. The pièce de resistance of the experience is the Miranda Brooks-designed rooftop garden where our clients can sit outside and enjoy an urban oasis.
Architecture – New York Inspiration
When choosing a location, each store blends in within its surroundings. The design firm RDAI, responsible for designing all our stores, draws local elements for each project. For this project, RDAI, led by artistic director Denis Montel, took inspiration from New York’s past and subtle cues from Art Deco and the early Manhattan skyscrapers. In addition to blending within the surroundings, we must be a part of the community. So, we are not just erecting a store but a legacy that will continue.
Address: Hermès, 706 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10065, United States