Hermès has a “secret” special projects division. Little-known, highly under-reported, Le Sur-Mesure is a division of the 180-plus year old luxury goods house that endeavors to bring the world’s wealthiest consumers’ “wildest dreams to life.” For some, that has been custom boxing gloves crafted entirely by Hermès, or maybe custom chairs for a private jet. For another, it is the cabin of a 68-foot sailboat, something that Hermès’ artisans are currently working on in its workshop in France.
Le Sur-Mesure first made headlines in 2016 when Architectural Digest revealed that Hermès has long maintained a made-to-measure laboratory, of sorts. Sure enough, hiding in plain sight at the bottom of the Paris-based luxury stalwart’s website is tab that reads Le Sur-Mesure.
With a little “patience,” in Hermès’ words, its craftsmen can create anything from “a hot-air balloon to a key holder.” It could be a bag, suitcase, garment, saddle, piece of furniture or casing, or perhaps the interior decoration of a boat, a plane or a car—conceived and crafted exclusively for you with the best materials and surest technique.
“To make it happen, share your dream details with us,” the brand declares (or maybe more aptly, whispers) on its website. “Hermès offers you the services of its dedicated designers, artisans and engineers.”
Not an entirely novel effort, Hermès has offered bespoke versions of its products to its most special clients since 1837. Traditionally, this has taken the form of harnesses and saddles, leather trunks and silk scarves — but now, as Classic Driver stated last year, Hermès is “taking this custom-made concept a step further and removing all limitations.”
No shortage of the creations that come out of Hermès’ workshop are bags and small leather goods – handmade picnic baskets, a leather carrying case that looks like a Granny Smith apple, “a skateboard with a custom brown-leather carrying sling; a winged horse saddle in red, yellow, and orange worthy of Wonder Woman,” per Surface magazine.
Those things are, however, small change compared to some of the artisans’ more extravagant works, such as the interior of a rare Aston Martin or a 12-meter boat called Rocobar.
Should you see one of Le Sur-Mesure’s creations on the street … or on the sea, you’d likely never know it. “It will never be written big: ‘Here is my Le Sur-Mesure Hermès bag,’” Christophe Beltrando, the atelier’s managing director told Surface. What he would not disclose: How much any of these products will set a consumer back. Giving away such information is “not really in keeping with the spirit of Le Sur-Mesure,” after all. Something else he would not reveal: What percentage of Le Sur-Mesure’s business comes from existing Hermès clients versus new ones.
Apparently, the group does not measure things like that.