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VM choice: Hermes map of London

Hermes has a very nice window in its Bond Street Store at present. It includes orange merchandise in Herme’s distinctive corporate colour.

With a cut-out map intertwined between classic gas street-lamps, all set behind two male mannequins it seems, from the other side of the street, that is promoting Hermes’ Paris origins.

But this is a map of central London. The Hermes store on London’s historic Bond Street has just reopened after a revamp, and the sepia tones and varied fonts of the map suggest past-times, perhaps linking with the horse and carriage icon on Hermes merchandise and website. Hermes commenced business an as equestrian harness and bridle supplier.

In the side window a black, cut-out fountain flows with ‘water, ‘or possibly ‘tea,’ as suggested by six blue silk scarves, justifiably Hermes most iconic range.

The map fills the background. But a teapot pouring multi-coloured ‘silk-scarf tea’ and a teacup and saucer, again from Hermes’ celebrated ranges, balance on each level of the fountain, suggesting this window is actually about Hermes’ ceramic ranges. And possibly, of course, the fountains in Trafalgar Square. A stylised flight of wooden birds references the Hermes name: Hermes, was the Messenger of the Greek gods, and is frequently shown with a winged helmet, or wings at his heels.

The map in the home window is sprinkled with London’s red double-decker buses seen from above. Added to the 3-D relief perspective model of the Bond Street store is a red telephone box, another London icon, all topping a leather-covered stool. This is a pleasingly neutral window but the red buses and telephone box just catch the eye, stopping it from looking a boringly-beige.

The side window brings together the elements seen in the other windows: the map and streetlights, this time with the addition of some rather English-looking dogs including a pointer, used as a gun dog. Shooting might be considered a quintessentially English occupation for the French brand’s traditional customers. Dogs, of course, have an affinity for lampposts too.

The map has been constructed from a series of smaller plywood panels, which overlap to create the larger map. This gives the map a robust and old-school appearance, and has a practicality that suggests this window is either being rolled out internationally or was shipped to the UK.

This concept both announces the refitted store and reminds customers of Hermes core merchandise and specialisms: leather, silk scarves, ceramics all through a lens of tradition.