Ardmore, which is renowned for its collection of fine art like ceramics, is the first South African company to collaborate with Hermès to date, and the ongoing collaboration has plenty in store for global fashion lovers. We sat down with the Ardmore Design team to find out more about this exceptional collaboration.

How did this collaboration with Hermes come about? In 2013, Ardmore founder, Fee Halsted, and her daughter, Megan Berning, were approached by a Hermès designer at a ceramic fair in Paris, who then set up a meeting to discuss the possibility of Ardmore designing a scarf for Hermès. This collaboration was the first time a South African inspired design would be used by the French company.

Who designed the collection with Hermes? Our Ardmore artists, including Sydney Nyabeze, under the guidance of Fee Halsted and her eldest daughter, Catherine Berning worked on the designs of these scarves together.

How did the collaboration with Hermes work – was Ardmore purely involved in the design of the prints or were you also involved in the garment/product design? Yes, Ardmore was purely involved in the designs of the scarves. Hermes then took these design elements and put them onto different fashion garments and jewellery which were approved by Fée Halsted.

What inspired the design of your prints? Different elements and motifs on our ceramic pieces have inspired the scarf designs. Savana Dance which has been a Hermès silk and cashmere scarf was inspired by the vervet monkey which features prominently as a symbol of wit and humour in Ardmore. In the scarf design he looks back at a leopard chasing him. This scarf also features proteas which have a beautiful link to South Africa and our Ardmore ‘amasumpa’ circle design which relates to energy and life-force in Zulu culture. La March du Zambèze which featured on silk scarves, silk handbags and jewellery was inspired by the rich and vibrant fauna and flora of the Zambezi.

When will the collection be available? Hermès currently have beachwear, beach bags and cashmere scarves available in Savana Dance in their stores. Our next silk scarf design, ‘“Flowers of Africa” will be released in Europe for their fall Collection. 

Will it be available in SA at any point? We hope so!

What’s next for Ardmore and the collaboration with Hermes? A new scarf (under secret wraps for now) will be release in 2019. All we can say is that it is bold and powerful!

Have a look at Ardmore’s website for more: ardmoreceramics.co.za

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