Hermes International SCA has a solution for wealthy consumers seeking to beat the traffic or meander about town.
The French maker of Birkin bags and silk scarves will introduce next month its own range of handmade bicycles, it said today in a presentation in Paris. Named Le Flaneur, or stroller, and manufactured by bike maker Time, the eight-speed carbon fiber machine weighs 11 kilos and comes in three colors and sizes, all with leather-trimmed seats and handlebars.
Hermes and other luxury-goods makers are expanding beyond fashion and accessories as they seek a greater share of the wealthiest consumers’ wallets amid slowing industry growth. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, which owns 23.1 percent of Hermes, added a pastry maker and a hotel earlier this this year, while suitmaker Ermenegildo Zegna SpA is supplying fabric to Fiat SpA Maseratis.
“We wanted to make a real bike that is easy to use,” said Francois Dore, managing director of Hermes’s Horizons department, which was created in 2011 to extend the company’s upholstery activities to mobile objects.
The only barrier to parking it on the street could be the price: 8,100 euros ($10,960).