Hermès Debuts in Austin with Dazzling South Congress Location
USA CEO Robert B. Chavez chats about the French brand’s plans for its newest boutique, designed with Texas inspiration
By Meher Qazilbash
Photos by Frank Oudeman, courtesy of Hermès
Luxury French fashion house Hermès is now gracing South Congress Avenue.
The first Hermès location to reach Austin opened on Saturday, April 30 with a design that keeps the city’s personality in mind, while also honoring the brand’s Parisian heritage.
“We are excited to join the local community with our new South Congress Avenue boutique, which will become our third store in the state,” says Robert B. Chavez, Hermès USA President and CEO. “We look forward to introducing the beauty and quality of our artisan-made collections to Austinites, who appreciate creativity, culture and individuality.”
A Texan himself, Chavez was born and raised in San Antonio. His roots in the Lone Star State can explain why so many of the store’s creative choices honor the Central Texas lifestyle.
“We just want to be a warm Texas welcome to everybody,” shares Chavez. “And being that it’s my home state, it feels doubly good.”
The reputation of the house of Hermès as an artisan-focused brand with eclectic, colorful and timeless pieces meshes well with Austin’s handmade vibes. Plus, the presence of the store feels all the more natural when taking in its design.
Homages to Austin’s character decorate the latest Hermès, with inspirations taken from the local arts and outdoorsy culture. Welcoming you into the establishment is a patio ornamented with greenery, a feature unique to this location. Inside, the minimalist and warm-toned space includes pops of color from the assortment of iconic silk scarves, fine jewelry, beauty collections, home goods, shoes, clothing and more. Contents like the historic Hermès saddlery and other equestrian goods pay homage to the Texas cowboy culture.
Other attractions include eccentric displays that honor Austinites’ love for music, dogs and skating. In fact, the architectural core of the two-level store is a gray terrazzo ramp inspired by skate parks. The store gives a casual experience of luxury, one with a sense of humor that locals are sure to love.
With the recent influx of big name tech companies and new residents, other notable, high-end brands have also set out to make a name for themselves here in Austin.
“Texas is booming,” states Chavez. “The growth here in the state continues. Austin is a very dynamic city and it was just time for us to join all the people coming here.”
Locals can feel both the repercussions and rewards that these new brands have brought in, but Hermès intends to be more than just a store as they engage meaningfully with the community.
Continuing their tradition of partnering with contemporary artists, Hermès worked with Austin-based artists Laura Lit and Sophie Roach to create stunning barricades and window designs that graced the property before the opening. There’s strong potential for future collaborations like this, giving local artists incredible opportunities and influence on a global brand. This fall, Hermès plans to hold a public exhibition on the craftsmanship of the house.
Hermès Austin is located at 1221 South Congress Ave. To see more products, visit hermes.com/us/en.