Patrick Guerrand-Hermès

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Patrick Guerrand-Hermès (born 25 September 1932) is a French sports entrepreneur, billionaire and aristocrat. He is also former president of the Federation of International Polo and the father of the socialite Mathias Guerrand-Hermès.[1] He is noted for his involvement with Morocco and redevelopment there, most notably the redevelopment of the Aïn Kassimou in Marrakesh in the 1980s, a villa built for Leo Tolstoy's daughter, Olga.[2] He is also a notable art collector, and in 2001 Forbes ranked him as the 347th richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion.[3]

Background[edit]

Guerrand-Hermès graduated from Oxford University. His great- great-grandfather, Thierry Hermès, who was Norman, was founder of the renowned firm of Hermès; the film deals in luxury goods, mostly leather saddlery and silk.[4]

Career[edit]

Guerrand-Hermès first went to Morocco in 1954 as a cavalryman and was stationed at Marrakesh. Thirty years later, in 1984, he bought Aïn Kassimou as a surprise for his wife Martine and their two sons, Olaf and Mathias.[5]

As a director of Hermès, he developed the firm's silk business. As of 2012 he is retired and spends nine months a year in Morocco intensively pursuing other business interests. He spends the remaining three months in Vineuil-Saint-Firmin, promoting his favorite sport, polo, at the Chantilly Polo Club.[4] His interest in the sport prompted him to become deeply involved in the development of the polo grounds at Château de Chantilly in the early 1970s.[6] Château de Chantilly held the first thoroughbred horse race on its grounds when Louis XVI was king. The first polo ground in the region was established by the Rothschild family in one of the three farms that belonged to the château in 1920. Fifty years later Guerrand-Hermès and a few of his associates converted the field into a club. It now has ten polo grounds, two of which are suitable for use all year round.[7] The club has about 250 players who participate in many tournaments and some 3,500 horses in training.[7]

The polo team sponsored by Guerrand-Hermès is known as La Palmeraie. He has been president of the Federation of International Polo and was chiefly responsible for organizing the 2004 World Polo Championship at the Domaine le Chantily Polo club.[8] The perpetual trophy was presented to La Palmeraie by Patrick Guerrand-Hermès, in memory of his son, Lionel, a young rider who died in 1981 at the age of 18. His second son Mathias was also a member of the North American squad,[6] who died of a heart attack at the age of 38 in Paris on 28 April 2010.[9]

Guerrand-Hermès also has an interest in the arts and culture of Morocco where he has lived for over 50 years, and is an avid lover of oriental arts and horses.[10] To achieve his desire he bought the estate, called the Ain el Quassimou or Aïn Kassimou, a villa in Marrakesh, in the 1980s, which was originally built in the late 19th century for Leo Tolstoy's daughter, Olga. This estate was re-developed and is now part of the Palmarie Polo Club. The villa exhibits Patrick's art collections.[10] Marella Agnelli engaged the architect Bill Willis to build the pool pavilion in the Aïn Kassimou grounds. The lake, with its papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) and yellow water lilies(Nymphaeaceae) in front of the villa was designed by Madison Cox, the garden designer.[11][12] The 1953 portrait of Agnelli, with a Donna Marella Rose painted by Richard Avedon is in the bedroom of the villa.[13] Among the sporting paintings is the Horseman with a Sloughi by Henri-Emilien Rousseau. Other important pieces of art include The Going Out of the Pacha by Emile-Alfred Dehodencq, and paintings and drawings of Moroccan kasbahs by Edy Legrand.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allen, Peter. "Hermès fashion heir facing 20 years in jail for 'grabbing pilot's crotch and threatening to punch him during flight". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Collection Patrick Guerrand-Hermès, Tableaux Orientalistes et Art Islamique provenant de la Villa Aïn Kassimou, Marrakech". Sotheby's. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Billionaires 2001" (PDF). Forbes. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Patrick Guerrand Hermes, one-man band". Le Parisien, France. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  5. ^ House & Garden, Volume 162. Condé Nast Publications. 1990. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Chronicle of the Horse, Volume 46, Issues 1-12. Chronicle of the Horse. 1983. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Lande, Nathaniel; Lande, Andrew (2008). The 10 Best of Everything, Second Edition: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers. The Chantilly Polo Cub. National Geographic Books. p. 20. ISBN 9781426202278. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Laffaye, Horace A. (2009). The Evolution of Polo. McFarland. pp. 227–228. ISBN 9780786438143. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Mathias Guerrand-Hermes". New York Times. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c "Collection Patrick Guerrand-Hermès, Tableaux Orientalistes et Art Islamique provenant de la Villa Aïn Kassimou, Marrakech". Sotheby’s. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Garden". Pinterest, Vogue.com. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Art Market: highlights of the season". Natural History. Sotheby’s. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Bowles, Hamish (2007). Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. (3 pages). ISBN 9780307266224. Retrieved 30 October 2012.