In March 2022, BAZAAR had the privilege of joining Hermès Beauty in Paris for the launch of Plein Air, the latest collection to join the beauty metier. The adventure took us to Baie de Somme, a large estuary three hours north of Paris, filled with towering sand dunes, endless beaches and teeming with wildlife. We experienced the great outdoors, amazing Michelin-starred lunch and a presentation with the creative director of Hermès Beauty, Gregoris Pyrpylis.

Creative director of Hermès Beauty Gregoris Pyrpylis (Photo: Hermès)

The following day, we caught up with Gregoris in Paris to chat more about the launch. Plein Air marks Hermès Beauty’s foray into the complexion category with five new products — a complexion balm, a matte powder, a radiant powder, a powder brush and blotting papers.

Photo: Hermès

“We wanted to arrive in the complexion category with Plein Air with an offering that will reveal natural beauty. It’s here to sublimate your complexion, but it’s also comfortable,” shared Gregoris. “There’s a certain idea of lightness that is rooted in the relationship between the house of Hermès and the outdoors.”

The marriage of nature and the house of Hermès is felt not only in its latest launch, but throughout its history since 1837. Hermès started out creating saddles for horses, an animal which was seen as a link between man and nature, and this equestrian root formed the basis for many of its metier. What’s the link between a horse and beauty, you may ask? It’s the very idea of freedom and airiness that’s felt on the skin.

“At Hermès, when we talk about beauty, we talk about well-being. For us, it’s important to come up with offerings that will accompany our clients in their everyday life.” Gregoris explained. “We have a natural approach that is not here to impose—we don’t come up with looks where you have specific eyeshadows going with specific nail polishes. We talk about prepositions where we invite people to take ownership of our objects and our products to express who they really are. It’s an idea of a certain type of freedom that we offer that is very dear to the house of Hermès.”

The pièce de résistance of the Plein Air collection is the Complexion Balm, an innovative formula that combines both makeup and skincare, all while feeling weightless on skin. Hermès Beauty often talks about the gestures which accompanies its previous launches, and frequently, there would be an accompanying brush for the product—not the Complexion Balm though. It’s all about the hands in this case.

“At Hermès, our hands are the most important tool and the most important way to work. Because we’re the house of craftsmen, objects and design. Everything was so well thought out with the Complexion Balm that there is no need to come out with a brush. Applying it with your hands and with your fingertips is the most efficient and it’s a discovery of the sensorial part of the texture as well. It’s a very simple gesture that forms the ritual of self care,” Gregoris shared.

You never throw away an Hermès object.

Gregoris Pyrpylis, Creative Director of Hermès Beauty

Gregoris also talked about Hermès’ position on sustainability, a buzzword that many fashion houses and beauty brands have picked up recently. “For Hermès, sustainability has always had a place in the house. It’s a house of design and objects, and these objects are meant to be durable and repairable. You never throw away an Hermès object,” Gregoris reiterated. “Hermès Beauty launched with Rouge Hermès, a refillable lipstick made with aluminium that’s sourced from Europe, the use of plastic is limited to the mechanism that turns and also because there was no other way to do it with a different material. When you buy an Hermès object, whether it’s a bag or scarf or lipstick, it’s an object that will gain a patina and become more beautiful with time, and it’s made to be passed on to your child or friends—that’s the beauty of Hermès.”

We ended the chat yearning for more information about the next Hermès Beauty launch, but the tight-lipped Creative Director said: “We started with Rouge Hermès, then Rose Hermès, then Les Main and now we have Plein Air. I’ll let you guess what’s next. I didn’t say anything but I think it’s going to be a great and exciting chapter.”