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La Maison
by Koto Bolofo

Koto Bolofo is the first photographer to have been granted unlimited access to the secret workshops of Hermès, the house famous for its leather goods, scarves and other beautiful objects. La Maison, itself an elaborate object comprising eleven volumes and the result of seven years’ work, showcases Bolofo’s painstaking documentation of the Hermès universe.

Bolofo’s photos explore every facet of Hermès craftsmanship, from the manufacturing of saddles, silk scarves and and the famous Kelly Bag, toready-to-wear, shoes and perfume. Bolofo left no stone unturned: even the private Hermès museum is revealed, a treasure trove hidden in Hermès headquarters on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.

The story of how the La Maison project began became part of Hermès history. In 2002 Bolofo met the chairman of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas. Says Bolofo: “Mr Dumas asked me where I came from and I said Lesotho in South Africa. He was shocked and excited, explaining that his great great grandfather was a missionary, and how the Sothos – my tribe – had protected him. Mr Dumas welcomed me as his cousin and gave me carte blanche to photograph what I liked at Hermès.”

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