Does Hermes Practice Sexism?

dooneybaby

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Dec 12, 2008
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I've recently been reading some disturbing comments in the comment section of some YouTube videos about Hermes. Several women have complained that when they go into an Hermes boutique looking for a Kelly or Birkin, they're told no. But when they go in with their husbands or boyfriends, HE'S offered a bag. And it doesn't seem like it's done in one country over another. There are complaints from women in the United States, Canada and Europe. Have any TPFers had this experience?
 

Sophistry

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Feb 5, 2011
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I have not had this experience but I believe women when they say they have experienced it.

I was alone and offered a Kelly at FSH when I took an online appointment in 2018, not knowing anyone as an American female tourist in France. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to anything.

I do not believe Hermès practices sexism as a policy, but sales associate behaviors can certainly be biased.
 

aisham

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Sep 15, 2014
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I think the idea of a A man picking up an Hermes bag Birkin or Kelly as a gift for a women is the reason why he gets offered a bag and not because he is a man . SAs like the idea and get carried away with excitements . They might also help a daughter get a bag as a gift for her mother .

I do not believe Hermès practices sexism as a policy, but sales associate behaviors can certainly be biased.
I also agree with this .
 

acrowcounted

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Feb 10, 2007
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I think the idea of a A man picking up an Hermes bag Birkin or Kelly as a gift for a women is the reason why he gets offered a bag and not because he is a man . SAs like the idea and get carried away with excitements . They might also help a daughter get a bag as a gift for her mother .


I also agree with this .
Agreed. I believe it is less sexism and more the SA getting wrapped up in the romantic gesture being portrayed. I would guess that an SA who is sympathetic with this line of thinking would help a husband buying for his wife with the same energy as a wife buying for her wife or any child/parent gifting situation. Also, my SA hardly ever interacts with my DH, aside from pleasantries, even though we shop together nearly every time. I’m the client, I select the items, and I pay. There has never been any confusion there, in my experience. :smile:
 

Graw

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Aug 26, 2011
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I don’t think Hermes as a corporation does it, but there is something special about someone getting a gift that makes everyone want to help with the surprise.


When men post about a gift for their wife in forums they are met with an outpour of support, advice and praise.
 

Yoshi1296

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Dec 29, 2012
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I believe this, and hear me out.

I am man. I got both of my Birkins, pretty quickly, exact color, size, hardware I asked for...very quickly. I don't spend nearly as much as MANY other clients, only 1/3 of the price of a B or K per year. My first birkin I got in less than 10 days after I asked my SA, not a gift, a birkin for myself only. Second birkin, I was offered the following year one month after requesting one, I did not tell my SA I would gift the second Birkin to my mother until AFTER they showed it to me in the room.

I do have a great relationship with my SA, but I do think sexism plays a role for sure.
 

momoc

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May 21, 2017
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OK I will go ahead and mention the elephant in the room - I think it's because men are assumed (not incorrectly in many cases) to be the ones paying for the purchases. Therefore if they get a bag they are willingly paying for it right then and there with their money whereas a woman is perhaps getting permission from the husband to spend the husband’s money.

I literally have been asked "is your husband ok with you spending like this" by SAs (H and other brands, and in different countries). I actually earn more than my husband and am the one paying for my luxury purchases (I have decided to always go shopping by myself too) but I do get why. It's still the default way of thinking that men are the ones providing the funds, because of how things used to be (I remember when my mom can't even *own* a card without going through her husband), and of course, in many cases still continue to be (gender pay inequality is a thing). And it definitely can be true that the husbands are picking up the tab (how many posts have we seen that mention "my husband is going to put me on ban island" on this forum?). I have also personally ran into someone at my store hiding her purchase (like a small leather good into her pocket) and joking (and I hope only just joking) with the SA to not have her husband angry at her with the H shopping.

It's like when husband and I go out to eat at a restaurant and the waiter defaults to giving the check to him instead of me. IMO it's the same assumptions at work. Is it sexiest? Yes that is literally what this is, but I don't think at the root it is (simply) an H thing or an SA (/waiter) thing, rather it’s reflecting on the still existing gender roles and inequalities in cultures and societies as a whole.

P.S. an aside - I am not saying that there is anything wrong with people spending their partner's (or parents') money or whatever. As long as the ones providing the money are happy, I don’t think it’s up to anyone else to judge. I wouldn’t say no if my husband wants to buy me H or anything - in fact he has done it once and it’s my most special piece that I will never get rid of :smile:
 

Phiona88

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Nov 10, 2018
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It's like when husband and I go out to eat at a restaurant and the waiter defaults to giving the check to him instead of me. IMO it's the same assumptions at work. Is it sexiest? Yes that is literally what this is, but I don't think at the root it is (simply) an H thing or an SA (/waiter) thing, rather it’s reflecting on the still existing gender roles and inequalities in cultures and societies as a whole.
My husband doesn't drink. Not at all. But whenever we order a beer and a cola at a restaurant, he always gets served the beer and me the cola :nuts:

Sorry I've gone off topic. But yes, sexism exists, even in something as simple as a man should have the beer and the woman the non-alcoholic beverage. Everything that @momoc has said is accurate. Outdated gender roles still exist in today's societies, and it will take a few more generations before these assumptions die out.
 

Liberté

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Jan 5, 2007
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OK I will go ahead and mention the elephant in the room - I think it's because men are assumed (not incorrectly in many cases) to be the ones paying for the purchases. Therefore if they get a bag they are willingly paying for it right then and there with their money whereas a woman is perhaps getting permission from the husband to spend the husband’s money.

I literally have been asked "is your husband ok with you spending like this" by SAs (H and other brands, and in different countries). I actually earn more than my husband and am the one paying for my luxury purchases (I have decided to always go shopping by myself too) but I do get why. It's still the default way of thinking that men are the ones providing the funds, because of how things used to be (I remember when my mom can't even *own* a card without going through her husband), and of course, in many cases still continue to be (gender pay inequality is a thing). And it definitely can be true that the husbands are picking up the tab (how many posts have we seen that mention "my husband is going to put me on ban island" on this forum?). I have also personally ran into someone at my store hiding her purchase (like a small leather good into her pocket) and joking (and I hope only just joking) with the SA to not have her husband angry at her with the H shopping.
Here's a thought-experiment (because I don't think you're necessarily wrong): How does this explanation go with H's ploy to get clients to spend more on items in other categories in order to get what they really want (a B/K/C)? If there's a presumption that a man has more money to spend, shouldn't the company encourage men to spend even more to get a birkin or kelly, whether its for their wives or GFs or themselves?
 

momoc

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May 21, 2017
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Here's a thought-experiment (because I don't think you're necessarily wrong): How does this explanation go with H's ploy to get clients to spend more on items in other categories in order to get what they really want (a B/K/C)? If there's a presumption that a man has more money to spend, shouldn't the company encourage men to spend even more to get a birkin or kelly, whether its for their wives or GFs or themselves?
I think there is another assumption at work and that is women are the ones into bags / fashion and the men are less likely to care about these things. So yes, they have the money, but they aren't actually interested in the stuff (they are just paying because the wife wants that bag). So men will be less likely convinced to buy other stuff and less likely wanting to play the H "game". You reminded me - it is also generally a trend that men's RTW are very useful (more so than women's) when you are building a good profile for getting offers with the H game. I'm thinking it's because that is read as a sign that the man in the family is actually also into (luxury) fashion and therefore probably a good customer to have!
 

acrowcounted

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it is also generally a trend that men's RTW are very useful (more so than women's) when you are building a good profile for getting offers with the H game. I'm thinking it's because that is read as a sign that the man in the family is actually also into (luxury) fashion and therefore probably a good customer to have!
I’d argue a much simpler explanation of that they, on a factual basis, have fewer male primary clients (ie shopping for themselves) and thus men’s RTW is the most difficult to sell and therefore most appreciated. Maybe we are actually saying the same thing but either way I wouldn’t call it sexism, in this example, they simply want clients that spend a lot in all departments. :smile: