A child of the ball, MOF and Hermes saddler artisan

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In Hermes we keep repeating this: the first client of the house is the horse. Although silk and leather products form an important part of the brand’s activity, Hermes is first and foremost a saddler and shoe manufacturer. So much so that only the workshops are still located at 24, Faubourg Saint Honoré – the historic home address – the ones where the saddlers work – a team of 20 people (including working at a second workshop in Normandy) – who make them by hand. Hands of shoes made of gorgeous tailors to satisfy mounts and riders, combining all disciplines.

Although humans and horses have been working together for more than 5,000 years, saddlery has remained an area of ​​complete evolution, with saddles, bridles and other leather harness parts constantly being improved, for comfort and performance. Millions? Perfect osmosis between rider and horse. An ideal communication in effort and performance, the precision of each gesture that results from the collaboration of a rider, a saddle expert and a craftsman who communicates for the development of each new saddle presented by the workshop. Unveiled at the Grand Palace on the occasion of the twelfth edition of the prestigious Saut Hermès, the Cell Rouge (named in reference to the leather from which it is made, red H leather) is the first saddle presented by Charlie Palmiri, saddler artisan Hermes and Mellier. De France.

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Route a baby from the ball

“Horse riding was born in Fauburg and restored in Fauburg,” recalls Charlie Palmiri, who wears this tricolor collar that stimulates the gastronomy business more than leather. And yet, the Meilleur Ouvrier de France experiment raises concerns about trade in 17 categories, from clothing and beauty and even communication, from industry and crafts to buildings. This pass, Charlie Palmieri dreams of it. “It’s a challenge I wanted to set myself up for,” says the young man, the son of a cook who had no inclination to do the job, perhaps … his immense love for tracks and shows, which leads – one thing leads to another – The shoe maker’s business, which he practiced for the most prestigious account of the French luxury home. When asked about his career, the young ringmaster replied with a smile. “I was destined for hawks from a very young age. I wanted to perform, I was also a magician, I used to stilt, I used to juggle. ” He then worked with Eric Blancutt, the show rider and trainer who gave him his passion and knowledge of the equestrian world. Out of necessity, the teenager starts an activity that will determine the course of his life. “I had to repair my hawk equipment, then I made my clothes, I had to repair the equipment of the riders with whom I performed …” the boy recalls, who decided to explore craft paths after graduating in economics. This will be the upholstery. From an internship at CAP, Charlie goes fast and passes his professional graduation in one year. In 2012, at the age of twenty, Charlie Palmiri decided to end his training with a CAP as a saddler and shoe maker at the prestigious Haras du Pine, where he learned, he said, a “passion for leather and excellence” with Raphael Reward.

It was written

Credit Photo – Hermes

At the age of twenty, Charlie still doesn’t know that this demand for excellence will take him to the 24th, 5th floor of Fauburg. If he discovers the house during his training, – a member of the jury who works at Hermes notices what he does in a handbag during his graduation exams – the time has not come. He still has a long way to go to get to the tack room, he explains and he refuses the tests given to him. It was only a year later, during his CAP, that he joined the in-house leather goods workshop where he received three years of training on the techniques, history and values ​​of Hermes.

Taste the challenge

Credit Photo – Hermes

Why start a competitive marathon for Meilleur Ouvrier de France, an event that spans two years and requires the technical, physical and mental preparation of a top athlete? To evaluate his work, to find out where he is, judging by his peers, Charlie answers. In 2015, at the Prix de l’Address, an internal competition, sharpened his taste for challenge and marked his return to the saddle. There he made a complete bridle and his bra. “We had to rediscover a piece taken from the Emile Hermes Museum by rediscovering the techniques of that time,” recalls Charlie Palmieri. A year later, he registered for the title of Mellier Ovier de France. He will win the medal in 2019, at the end of a long race during which he will not let go. “The pressure of competition pushes people to look for different ways to excel.” And excellence, he will sacrifice everything for it. “We’ve built ourselves around the MOF for two years, it’s very stressful. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. ” After the aptitude test – an imposed piece, 6 hours before a jury to reproduce a net – then it would take him several months to create the job he chose for the final test: a complete dressage set, made with a gin, a perimeter , A mesh and strip leather. When the technical part is imposed, the candidate has to blanch the cart for the rest.

Athlete training

“A mental trainer has allowed me to organize myself like an athlete,” explains Charlie Palmiri. “To qualify, I constantly repeat my actions so that it becomes automatic. The issue of eligibility falls a month before the event. This whole month, I practiced making pieces under the same conditions, I got up at the same time, I practiced not eating lunch so that my body got used to it, so that no source of stress was added. . “If the final test lasts a few months, it requires flawless organization. In the evenings, on weekends, Charlie returns to the workbench after work. In two years, anything can happen,” explains Sadler, who worked a total of 1,300 hours. Just over 54 full days! – of which 400 are for saddles only.The jury will also consider the impressive technical file compiled by the candidate – design details, research, rider and horse measurements, prototypes, tests র records there to mark all the work behind closed doors In addition to technical and artistic standards, respect for the horse and rider is a prerequisite. A responsibility for the craftsman, as the animal can rarely complain if a seam hits it.


Credit Photo – Hermes

Although he does not carry the title of Master Sadler, Charlie Palmerry replaces Laurent Goblet in the workshop as a saddle expert. La Celle Rouge similarly testifies that the master lives this great relay race to his students. For three years, Laurent Goblet encouraged her young child to compete, engaging him in his work, teaching him day-to-day techniques acquired in his career. Outside of the teacher-student relationship, a dialogue is established. Among peers. La Celle Rouge is his tradition. “There’s always something inside Laurent,” he admits. Everything he has given me, my knowledge, my code and the projects he has given me. I hope it will be an extension, ”he concluded.


Tied to his jacket, boots, well-trimmed beard collar and fang mustache, Charlie Palmyeri seems ready to hit the track. Only 30 years old, this young man is one of the geniuses of Hermes House. French craftsman Sadler and best worker, he has followed in the footsteps of Laurent Goblet, the 24-year-old master sadler, Fauburg for nearly 40 years and has introduced new creations to the house’s “Cell Rouge”.

Carol Huivener

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