In a world of iconic menswear, men’s ties are certainly up there with the Burberry trench coat. Generally, you know you’re doing something right if an entire industry is here to fake your products and that’s the case with Hermès ties.
In the US, Hermès ties have a price tag of a $180. In Europe, it’s a little less. In Australia, it’s a little more but overall, it’s right around that price point. By the way, the brand is called Hermès , not HERMIS and to learn more about how to pronounce luxury brands please check out this video here.
Hermès is a brand who was founded in 1837 by the German-born Thierry Hermès . Initially, it was a manufacturer of harnesses and brittles for the carriage trade. By 1855, they won their first prize for their quality merchandise and soon thereafter, they would start to expand their products and include things like saddle and leather goods. Now I could fill hours with the intricate history of Hermès but in terms of ties and silk, the home of the Hermès silk since 1937 has been the city of Lyon.
The first silk design Hermès created was actually not for a tie but for a scarf. They are probably even more famous for women than the ties are for men. They’re typically in 70 centimeters by 70 centimeters. The very first pattern showed some women playing a game; the pattern was called Dames Blanches. In 1978, the fifth generation of family owners came in and Jean-Louis Dumas became the chairman of Hermès as well as the creative director. Under his reign, Hermès switched to focus on silk products, leather goods, and ready-to-wear goods. Over the years, Hermès has produced thousands of designs and they’ve become iconic, very recognized and worn by Wall Street bankers, London businessmen, Russian oligarchs, or emerging Chinese upper-classmen.
Is An Hermes Tie Worth The Price?
Well, first we have to determine what you get for that money. The tie production, especially for the printed ties, is vertically integrated. Hermès has their own silkworm plantations in southern Brazil and there they control the spinning of the yarn, the weaving of the yarn, the designs of the silk, the printing, as well as the sales, all the way to the customer. All designs are exclusively designed for Hermès and you can’t find them elsewhere unless they’re knockoffs, of course.
Every season, ten new ones are added as well as old ones are reissued and overall, they’ve probably created more than 75,000 different color schemes. So between the designs and the colors, there’s really a rich archive. Hermès is known for their printed ties especially for their often whimsical animal print ties, horse-inspired prints, as well as geometrical prints, and small micropatterns.
Pro: Hermès Uses Silk Screen Printing
Back in the day, it was actually done with hand blocks, today, that is not done anymore. Today, they use screens which are a lot more labor-intensive and therefore more costly than digital printing.
So why does Hermès still use silk screen printing? They believe it produces richer colors in a more high-quality product and I couldn’t agree with them more which is why we, at Fort Belvedere, make all of our silks in a screen print and not digital print. All famous Hermès ties are printed on a rather lightweight silk twill that has a little bit of gum added back to it so it has a really soft touch that is not dry at all. When you touch an Hermès tie, it has a very typical feel, it’s not super gummy like old madder silk ties, but it’s also not like a jacquard woven tie, it’s something in between, that is special for Hermes and that they want to keep secret which is one of the reasons that’s vertically integrated. A true connoisseur will likely always be able to determine whether it’s a fake or not based on the way the silk feels in their hand.
It’s hard to describe but it’s something you have to develop over time. Every Hermès tie is made out of two panels of silk, not three, like most ties but also not like one like very expensive ties. The only difference is basically that you need more silk, the fewer pieces you use for each individual tie. Making a tie out of two pieces is totally fine and has no impact on the quality.
Pro: The Fabric Is Cut Intricately
The next step, the fabric is cut. Hermès ties often feature specific model numbers with the logo printed in the silk and because of that, they have to be cut very accurately otherwise, the finished product won’t have lines that are very neat. That’s another way to make it difficult for fakers because often times, they get these little details wrong but Hermes always gets them right.
Once a tie is cut, you add two layers of interlining that gives the tie the feel and the springiness. Hermès ties are three-fold ties and they’re hand sewn with a thread that is a hundred and seventy centimeters long, that’s about five foot and seven inches. All Hermes ties contain a little loop at the bottom and because that loop stitch ties are flexible. Many quality ties are sewn in that way so I’m not surprised to see that from an Hermès tie.
Pro: Hermès Pays Great Attention to Detail & Quality
It’s even little things such as the label which sits eight inches from the bottom and is sewn on in four spots or the model number in this little box which is neatly aligned with the edge and not crooked. Also, that keeper tag is woven and not printed and has very specific elements that are different with the different ties. So a woven tie will have a different label than a printed animal tie which is different again to a heavy printed twill silk.
The same is true for the backside tip lining of the tie; with printed ties, it’s a solid color versus with woven ties, it’s a kind of golden H symbol that you see and again, every tie is slightly different and only Hermès knows what they do for each specific tie. Fakers, on the other hand, don’t and so they often get it mixed up. So objectively, when you get an Hermès tie, you get a high-quality product.
Con: Limited Fold & Width Options
What you don’t get is a sevenfold, eightfold, nine-fold, or tenfold tie. You also don’t get a tie that comes in very many widths. By default, most Hermès ties are eight centimeters wide, they have some that are seven centimeters, and some ties that are less and in this day and age, it’s hard to find a nine centimeter Hermès tie.
Con: Limited Length Options
Their general tie is about 60 inches long or 152 centimeters, I say about because a tie is always cut on the bias which makes it very flexible but when you lay it down it’s a little stretchy and so you never get the exact measurement from each tie to another. Online, they have a very small section of ties that are longer but they do not have ties for shorter men which is a shame because if you’re a shorter man, you need a tie that it’s shorter otherwise, you end up with a large tie knot that simply doesn’t flatter your silhouette Because of that at Fort Belvedere, we created ties in short regular and long and not just for certain models but for all the models.
Con: Limited Variety
You’re also somewhat limited in terms of variety with Hermès ties. Yes, they have many patterns, many prints, they come in quite a few colors, at the same time, they always print it on the same silk twill. If you look at Hermès’ woven ties, they’re usually small jacquard patterns, some geometrical patterns, the occasional stripe, but you don’t find elaborate stripes there, you don’t find repp ties, you don’t find grenadine ties or mohair ties, wool ties, they sometimes have cashmere ties, but again, it’s very limited. On the other hand, if you want to experiment more with your tie silks and maybe have a shantung fabric or a grenadine wool silk mohair blend, Hermes is not the brand for you.
Should You Buy An Hermes Tie?
If you’re someone who really likes printed whimsical motifs, these little animal prints, then Hermès is definitely the way to go. Also, if you’re looking for more unusual colors such as fuchsia ties or chartreuse green, maybe some orange tones, Hermès will likely have a shade that you can get. Also, if you’re a Wall Street banker or if you work in finance and you want to fit in with your company culture, an Hermès tie is certainly the way to do that.
That being said, personally, I’m not a big fan of whimsical motifs on ties and I prefer different textures so Hermes ties are not the ideal tie for me. I have a bunch of them including vintage ones and new ones but frankly, I don’t wear them a whole lot anymore. The ones I wear the most are probably the woven ties, they are somewhat simple and don’t look like a typical Hermes tie. With many other luxury products, you pay a lot for the name but you get average to mediocre quality.
On the other hand, with an Hermès tie, you certainly pay for the name but you also get a quality product. On top of that, genuine Hermès ties usually yield quite high prices even when they’re used. Of course, they have to be in pristine condition which ties rarely are if you actually wear them and on top of that, you have to prove that it’s actually a genuine product which can be very hard unless you have the specific receipt with a photo of the tie.
Of course, if you give all the Hermès ties you don’t want any longer to a store, they have to mark them up and ultimately, you don’t get much for used Hermès ties anyways. Also if you’re shorter than 6 foot or 183 centimeters, Hermes ties may be too long for you and all you can do is tie a really big knot which may often not work with your head size. Also, if you’re really tall and you want more variety in your ties, Hermes is not the right place for you.
Also, building up an entire Hermès tie collection can be rather expensive. If you buy 12 ties, you’re already down more than $2,000. Now they certainly use high-quality materials including their silk but when I was looking for silks for our Fort Belvedere ties, I met Weavers who would actually produce jacquard woven silks for Hermès and we get ourselves from the same vendor at the same quality standards yet Fort Belvedere ties cost a lot less especially if you buy more and get the volume discount. Hermès , on the other hand, doesn’t offer any volume discount.
At the end of the day, to me personally, Hermès ties are mostly not worth it simply because I prefer a 9-centimeter width and I prefer different textures. On top of that, I want ties in different lengths because depending on an outfit and the rise of my trousers I don’t always want a consistent tie length and Hermès is not able to deliver that to me.
That being said, if you’re about 6 foot tall or 180 centimeters, Hermès ties will work for you in height and if you like their motifs and their flashy colors it’s definitely an option for you. Bear in mind that you can always sell them at a higher price if you don’t like them anymore. Of course, only if you can prove that it’s a genuine product and not a fake.