'L'Esprit Sellier' Fall 2020 Ad Campaign

Review of Hermès ‘L’Esprit Sellier’ Fall 2020 Ad Campaign by Fabien Mouillard & Nathaniel Goldberg

Does everything sound better in French? Case in point: “L’Esprit Sellier” translates to “The Saddler’s Spirit”; admittedly either translation gets the point across, but “Sellier” has a much nicer ring to it than “Saddler”, don’t you think?

There’s an old saying that “the devil is in the details” and if that’s true, the creatives at Hermès must be a devilish bunch because their details are always impeccably turned out. “L’Esprit Sellier” is another example of this. Is it ground-breakingly innovative? No. Does it shock or surprise? Not really. But perhaps that is because we have all come to expect excellence from Hermès (…and therefore we shouldn’t take it for granted when they deliver!). So let’s sing their praises for a moment.

Many brands excel at leveraging their legacies, which sometimes go back many decades or more, but Hermès frequently finds themselves at the top of the heap because they never lose sight of what makes them so special. And what makes them so special? It is all of those perfect little details, which they have been executing without fail since the mid-eighteen-hundreds.

Those brown & white Hermès ribbons that wiggle about rhythmically in every ad campaign photo? Perfect. The beautifully diverse cast sporting iconic Hermès bags and scarves? Perfect. The 15-second teaser video in which the scarves and ribbons blow to a jaunty surf-rock-inspired tune? Perhaps it’s not perfect, since perfection is a matter of personal taste after all… but one has to admit that it’s rather well done, and the timing of the fluttering fabrics is…well, perfect!

Hermès isn’t necessarily the edgiest, but as a brand, they do have the ability to think outside of the box on occasion. Take for example their hyper-realistic cake-based Instagram campaign or their innovative mix of traditional and digital animation techniques from the Holiday 2019 ad campaign.

Innovation is important of course, but now is a time when customers might find comfort in things that are familiar; especially considering the global pandemic, the rampant social injustice, and the cloud of climate catastrophe that is hanging over all of our heads.

Therefore it is reassuring to know that Hermès will keep doing what they do best – making exquisitely crafted objects, and exquisitely crafted ad campaigns as well.

Creative Direction | Fabien Mouillard
Art Direction | Klervia Gabaud
Photographer | Nathaniel Goldberg
Models | Lucas El Bali, Bakay Diaby, Sophie Koella, Eliot Moles le Bailly, Lara Mullen, & Mika Schneider
Stylist | Elodie David
Hair | Stephane Lancien
Makeup | Christelle Cocquet
Set Designer | Sauvage Herve