Koto Bolofo: La Maison
Text by Ménéhould du Chatelle.
For the past four years, innovative fashion photographer Koto Bolofo has had behind-the-scenes access to the Hermès fashion empire. Bolofo, well known for his portraits and fashion shoots, and published in such prestigious periodicals as Vogue, Esquire and i-D, came to Monde d'Hermès in 2004, when he met Hermès head, Jean-Louis Dumas, one of 17 cousins who constitute the fifth generation heading the company. Bolofo recalls that "Mr. Dumas asked where I came from. I said South Africa. He asked what part. I said Lesotho. He was shocked and very excited. He explained that his great, great, great grandfather was a missionary in Lesotho and that the Zulus used to attack his mission, but the Sothos--my tribe--protected him... He called me his cousin and said that his cousin was welcome any time and I had carte blanche to photograph what I liked in Hermès." La Maison contains exclusive images made as Bolofo worked his way through Hermès' workshops, discovering how their wares are made, from handbags, perfumes, scarves, prêt-à-porter and shoes to the first accessory ever produced by the house: saddles. Nothing escaped his lens, not even the museum, a treasure trove of Hermès history, tucked away on Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré.