From Hermès Orange to Lanvin Blue we share the stories behind some of the fashion world’s most iconic hues.

Photography by Bohman and Sjöstrand
Words by Katya Foreman

Hermès Orange

The mythic Hermès Orange has its roots in wartime recycling. The house’s first boxes were cream coloured with a gilded border and no logo. During France’s Occupation in World War II, Robert Dumas who had married into the Hermès clan paid a visit to the house’s cardboard supplier to be told they were out of stock. As his eye fell upon a stack of discarded orange paper—and despite attempts by the supplier to dissuade him—he immediately pounced upon it, drawn to its remarkable similarity to pigskin (thus making it the perfect match for a leather goods house). He took it home to show his father-in-law, Hermès president Émile-Maurice Hermès.
The rest is Hermès history.

Schiaparelli Shocking Pink

Shocking Pink is the delightfully jarring moniker invented by Elsa Schiaparelli in sync with the launch of her iconic fragrance Shocking in 1937. Her favourite bloom, the Schiaparelli Iris, introduced in 1971 two years before her passing, was  pale pink with a Shocking Pink heart.

“The colour flashed in front of my eyes.
Bright, impossible, impudent, becoming, life giving,
like all the lights and the birds and the fish in the world together,
a colour of China and Peru but not of the West.
A shocking colour, pure and undiluted.”

— Elsa Schiaparelli

Read the full story in Honore #1