Who Owns Hermès? Inside the Power Moves Keeping It in the Family

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Ever wondered who’s behind the iconic orange boxes and luxurious silk scarves of Hermès? It’s a name that whispers elegance and whispers even louder in the corridors of high fashion. But who really owns this titan of the luxury world?

Diving into the ownership of Hermès isn’t just about names and numbers. It’s a fascinating journey through family legacy, battles for control, and a steadfast commitment to craftsmanship. Let’s unwrap the mystery together and find out who holds the reins of this illustrious brand.

Key Takeaways

  • The Hermès brand was founded in the late 19th century by Thierry Hermès as a harness workshop, evolving into a globally recognized luxury brand commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and innovation.
  • Ownership of Hermès has strategically remained within the Hermès family, with the family holding over 50% of the company’s shares, ensuring control over the brand’s direction and preserving its legacy and values.
  • Public listing and strategic shifts in Hermès’ ownership structure occurred in 1993 when a minority of shares were listed on the Paris Bourse, balancing tradition with innovation by incorporating external investment while maintaining majority family control.
  • The LVMH Group holds approximately 23.1% of Hermès shares, illustrating the competitive dynamics within the luxury market and the strategic positioning of major stakeholders.
  • Strong Family Governance plays a crucial role in sustaining the brand’s success, with the Hermès family taking strategic actions, such as consolidating shares into a holding company, to protect against takeovers and ensure long-term family control.
  • These dynamics offer valuable lessons in adaptability, strategic planning, and the importance of maintaining a core brand identity and values for entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts in any sector.

The Roots of Hermès

Diving back into the late 19th century, you’d find the inception of Hermès as a harness workshop in Paris, catering primarily to European noblemen. Imagine the hustle of the founder, Thierry Hermès, a man with an uncompromising vision for quality and craftsmanship. This was a time when traveling by carriage was the norm, and horses were akin to today’s luxury cars. The foundation of Hermès was built on serving the upper echelon of society with the finest horse saddles and harnesses.

The transition of Hermès from a specialized workshop to a global luxury brand is a testament to the art of pivoting in business. As the world moved away from horse carriages, Hermès ingeniously shifted its focus. It began crafting leather bags, silk scarves, and other fashion pieces that retained the brand’s hallmark of excellence. Quality, craftsmanship, and innovation became the golden triangle that propelled the brand into the luxury stratosphere.

For any entrepreneur or business enthusiast, the strategy behind Hermès’ evolution is thrilling. It highlights the power of legacy, the importance of staying true to your brand’s core values while also adapting to changes in consumer behavior and market dynamics.

Hermès’ decision to keep the business within the family has allowed them to maintain control over their direction, ensuring that every decision aligns with their long-standing values of quality and craftsmanship. This approach has not only helped Hermès preserve its heritage but has also turned it into a synonym for exclusivity and prestige in the luxury market.

Imagine entering the market today with a product or service. This story underscores the significance of adaptability, quality, and having a laser-focused brand identity. Whether you’re just starting out with your first side hustle or scaling your online business, remembering the journey of Hermès can serve as a powerful blueprint for success.

Evolution of Ownership

As someone with a knack for deciphering the success of heritage brands, you’ll find the trajectory of Hermès’ ownership both fascinating and instructive. Starting as a small, family-run enterprise, Hermès’ grip on its ownership has been a masterclass in maintaining legacy while strategically incorporating outside influence to foster growth.

Initially, Hermès was firmly in the hands of its founding family, a tradition that ensured the brand’s identity and values remained intact. This family-centric approach to business is something you, as an entrepreneur, can understand the value of, particularly in terms of brand integrity and consistency.

However, in the late 20th century, a significant shift occurred. The company publicly listed a minority of its shares on the Paris Bourse in 1993, marking its first step towards external ownership. Yet, over 50% of the company remained with the family, ensuring their control over strategic decisions. This strategic move allowed Hermès to capitalize on market opportunities while maintaining its cherished ethos.

1993Public Listing – Hermès lists a minority of its shares on the Paris Bourse.
Post-1993Family Dominance – Despite external shareholders, the family retains over 50% control.

For you, as you juggle your online business ventures and side-hustles, this evolution of Hermès’ ownership offers a crucial lesson; balancing innovation with tradition is key. Integrating external input while holding on to what makes your brand unique could indeed be your formula for enduring success.

Remember, in today’s rapidly changing market landscape, adaptability, much like Hermès has shown, may very well be your most valuable asset. Whether it’s your main e-commerce platform or the newest side project you’re experimenting with, taking a page from Hermès’ book on ownership evolution could inspire strategies that ensure your ventures not only survive but thrive.

Current Major Shareholders

As an entrepreneur and business enthusiast, diving into the world of high-end fashion and luxury brands like Hermès is always fascinating. You know that understanding who holds the reins of such empires can offer invaluable lessons in strategy, investment, and brand management.

Hermès, known for its unparalleled craftsmanship and timelessness, stands out not just for its products but for its unique ownership structure. As of the latest updates, the Hermès family remains the majority shareholder, controlling over 50% of the company’s shares directly. This level of family involvement is rare in today’s global market and serves as a testament to the brand’s commitment to preserving its legacy and independence.

StakeholderPercentage Ownership
Hermès Family>50%
LVMH GroupApprox. 23.1%
Public InvestorsRest

Interestingly, LVMH Group, another giant in the luxury market, holds approximately 23.1% of Hermès shares. This investment sparked headlines and tension between the two, highlighting the competitive nature of luxury fashion.

The remainder of the shares are held by public investors and institutional stakeholders. These percentages might fluctuate slightly due to market activities, but the family’s majority control remains steadfast.

For you, the notable takeaway isn’t just in the percentages but in the strategic positioning and alliances within the industry. Hermès’ ownership structure is a sophisticated balancing act of maintaining tradition while navigating the complexities of the global market. Whether you’re developing your startup, exploring side-hustles, or scaling your online business, the insights from Hermès’ approach to ownership and control could be the guidepost for carving out your path to success in any field.

Family Dynamics and Control

If you’re an entrepreneur who marvels at the longevity of family businesses in a world dominated by conglomerates, take a closer look at Hermès—a sterling example of how family dynamics can be a cornerstone to enduring success. Running a successful online business myself and diving into various side-hustles has taught me the immense value that comes from maintaining control over your brand’s direction. And Hermès? They’ve mastered this art.

At the heart of Hermès’ control structure is a Strong Family Governance system. Despite the waves of acquisitions that have rolled through the luxury fashion industry, more than 50% of Hermès shares still belong to the Hermès family. This isn’t just about holding shares; it’s about a deep commitment to preserving the legacy and values established by Thierry Hermès in 1837. As someone who’s constantly exploring what makes businesses tick, seeing this level of dedication provides powerful insights.

This familial hold has been strategic and deliberate. In 2011, to fend off potential takeovers, notably from the LVMH group, the family consolidated their shares into a holding company, granting them the power to veto any sale of the shares. This move was not just a statement of unity but also a shrewd play in the high-stakes game of luxury brand ownership.

What’s more fascinating for you, as a budding entrepreneur or business enthusiast, is the lesson in Family Alliances. The Hermès family’s choice to stick together amidst external pressures serves as a testament to the strength of alliances. Whether you’re running an online startup or a side-hustle, the principle of rallying your core team and stakeholders around shared goals and values can’t be understated.

This narrative of Hermès highlights the significant advantage family-owned businesses can have in terms of long-term strategic planning and alignment of values. As you navigate your own business ventures, remember that the unity and vision shared among those closest to the company can be one of your most potent tools for success.


Exploring the ownership of Hermès has given us a peek into the power of family unity and strategic foresight in the luxury market. The Hermès family’s dedication to safeguarding their legacy is not just about keeping control but also about cherishing and upholding the values that have made Hermès a symbol of excellence. Their successful maneuver against potential takeovers stands as a testament to the strength that lies in family bonds and shared visions. So whether you’re an entrepreneur dreaming of your own business empire or simply fascinated by the intricacies of luxury brands, there’s a lesson here about the importance of unity and strategic planning. After all, it’s not just about owning a company; it’s about owning its future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How has the Hermès family maintained control over their company?

The Hermès family has maintained control over their company by ensuring that they own over 50% of the company’s shares. This strong governance system has been crucial in preserving the brand’s legacy and protecting it from hostile takeovers.

What was the strategic action taken by the Hermès family in 2011?

In 2011, the Hermès family strategically consolidated their shares to fortify their defense against potential takeovers, notably from the LVMH Group. This move demonstrated their unity and strategic acumen in the luxury fashion industry.

Why is family alliance important in Hermès’ strategy?

Family alliances are pivotal in Hermès’ strategy because they harness the strength of unity and shared goals among core team members and stakeholders. This approach has been beneficial for long-term success, emphasizing the importance of rallying support around common values and objectives.

What lesson can entrepreneurs learn from the Hermès family?

Entrepreneurs can learn the importance of strategic planning and aligning values from the Hermès family. The family’s approach to maintaining control, preventing takeovers, and fostering strong governance provides valuable insights into ensuring the longevity and success of a family-owned business.