The guiding principle at Petit H, the innovative atelier that transforms discarded materials from the workshops of Hermès into one-of-a-kind objects, is to work with what you have. For Godefroy de Virieu, the studio’s creative director, the most readily available materials are usually scraps of printed silk twill and calfskin leather — two hallmarks of the French luxury house — which he and his team refashion into everything from multicolor shoelaces to eye masks to animal-shaped shoe brushes. Given this knack for crafting treasures from unlikely components, we invited de Virieu to take part in our Make T Something series, for which a person must create something in under one hour using only basic crafting supplies, a copy of The New York Times and one wild-card item of their choosing.
The object de Virieu makes in the video above, he says, was inspired by a story he heard as a child and later told his own children: the tale of a sea captain, often attributed to the American origami pioneer Lillian Oppenheimer, which the teller illustrates by folding a piece of paper into a series of different shapes. “I really like it when there is a story behind an object,” he explains. His magic ingredient is a roll of Hermès textile tape, a length of patterned silk with an adhesive backing that he developed specially for this project. He hopes to perfect this prototype and sell versions in future collections — though because he will reuse fabrics from across the company, he says, “there will never be two rolls the same.”
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