Pierre-Alexis Dumas

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Pierre-Alexis Dumas
Born (1966-06-04) June 4, 1966 (age 51)
Alma mater Brown University
Occupation Artistic director of Hermès
Family Jean-Louis Dumas (father)

Pierre-Alexis Dumas (4 June 1966) is the artistic director of Hermès.[1][2] Under his direction, the firm has seen its biggest growth in decades, with sales of 4 billion euros in 2014.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Dumas is the son of Jean-Louis Dumas, the former CEO of the Hermès Group.[3] His mother was Rena (née Gregoriadès) Dumas (1937–2009), the Greek-born architect who founded Rena Dumas Architecture Intérieure in 1972 in Paris.[4][5] Through his father's lineage, he is also the great-great-great grandson of Hermès founder Thierry Hermès.[6]

In 1991, Dumas received a Bachelor of Arts degree in the visual arts from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, US, due to his parents' belief that an education in America would be an advantage for his future participation in the family business. His father had spent a short time in the buyer-training program of Bloomingdales department store in New York City.[3]


Beginning in September 1991, Dumas spent eight months in the factory managed by a branch of the Ratti family in Como, Italy, where silk has been spun since the 19th century. While there, he was introduced to aspects of engraving for printed textile, dyeing, and pattern design, particularly for women's fashion. (He also met Antonio Ratti there; the Antonio Ratti Textile Center and Reference Library is housed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.[7]

In 1992, Dumas joined the Hermès Group at the family firm's headquarters in Paris, and then was involved with the development of new products by silversmiths Puiforcat (founded in 1830)[8][9] and crystal manufacturer St. Louis (founded in 1586).,[10][11] both Hermès acquisitions. The same year he took over the Hermès's public relations department.[12] In 2008, Dumas created Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès, which supports art entrepreneurs around the world.[13] He has been the artistic director of Hermès since 2011.[1]


When you start to use that word, you're pretty desperate. I have seen so-called luxury products that have failed miserably after three weeks. We [at Hermès] are a quality manufacturer. My concern in life is, what does quality mean and how do you achieve it? - On the meaning of "luxury"[14]

We must know the past but live in the present and look to the future…. Some items last 100 years, while others do not survive two years.[15]

It's not really about the stitch. It's about being aware of the sense of touch, being able to stitch with your eyes closed, being able to represent yourself and the object you're making in space, being able to listen to what your hands tell you. - Reminiscing about learning the saddle stitch by age 10[12]

A pencil. If you throw your pencil away, it means you've used it. It means you've used your brain, your imagination, you've been writing and drawing. - About his favorite disposable object[16]

Personal life[edit]

In 1996, Dumas married Sophie Bouilhet, a member of the Christofle silver-manufacturing family.[17] They have three children. He is one of the directors of the Protestant Solidarity of France and Armenia association,[18] and treasurer of the Endowment Fund for the Preservation of the Artistic Printing House de Montparnasse, which since 1881 manages the preservation of lithographer Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy's work.[19]


  1. ^ a b c Murphy, Robert. "HERMES HERITAGE". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Limnander, Armand (March 10, 2010). "Profile in Style | Pierre-Alexis Dumas". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b William Grimes, "Jean-Louis Dumas, Chief of Hermès, Dies at 72, The New York Times, 3 May 2010
  4. ^ "Dumas, Rena" in Mel Byars, The Design Encyclopedia, New York City: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004
  5. ^ Suzy Menkes, "Rena Dumas:Interior Design with a Soft Touch of Simplicity: from Greece, a Heritage of Light, The New York Times, 12 September 2000
  6. ^ Doerr, Elizabeth (March 7, 2013). "Hermès, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Saint-Louis Create Spectacular Atmos Clock". Forbes. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Jill Condra, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History: Volume 3, 1801 to the Present, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood, 1986
  8. ^ Françoise de Bonneville, Jean Puiforcat, Paris: Regard, 1986
  9. ^ "Puiforcat, Jean" in Mel Byars, The Design Encyclopedia, New York City: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004
  10. ^ Gérard Ingold, Saint-Louis: Saint Louis from Glass to Crystal from 1586 to Today, Paris: Danoël, 1986
  11. ^ "Saint-Louis Crystallerie" in Mel Byars, The Design Encyclopedia, New York City: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004
  12. ^ a b Jacobs, Laura (September 2007). "From Hermès to Eternity". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Le mot du président" (in French). Hermès Fondation. 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  14. ^ Alexander Limnander, "Profile in Style / Pierre-Alexis Dumas: Family Guy,"The New York Times, Men's Spring 2010 supplement
  15. ^ Pascale Mussard et Pierre-Alexis Dumas: Les classiques modernes, Les Echoes, Série Limitée no. 49, 8 December 2006: 16 (translated from the French original)
  16. ^ Alexandra A. Seno, "What's Next: Luxury Products," The Wall Street Journal, 5 March 2010
  17. ^ "Villa palladiana - Le case - I maestri - AT Casa". Atcasa.corriere.it. 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  18. ^ Voir sa fiche. "Réforme | Un regard protestant sur l'actualité politique, religieuse, économique, sociale et culturelle". Reforme.net. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  19. ^ "L'imprimerie d'art de Montparnasse — CFF : Centre Français des Fonds et Fondations" (in French). Centre-francais-fondations.org. Retrieved 2013-03-20.