16 november 2009
"In 1976, the company received an unexpected boost from fashion photographer Helmut Newton, known as the "King of Kink" for his sexually powerful pictures. Newton adored Hermès. He found the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré store to be "the most expensive and luxurious sex shop in the world," he wrote in his autobiography. "In its glass cases there were displayed great collections of spurs, whips, leather ware and saddles. The salesladies were dressed like strict teachers, in wraparound gray flannel skirts, blouses closed to the neck, and a brooch in the shape of a riding crop pinned to their bosoms." Newton paid homage to Hermès by shooting a portfolio featuring its products at the Hôtel Raphael in Paris for Vogue. And what pictures they were. The most famous is of a model on all fours on a bed, with a saddle on her back, while dressed in tight jodhpurs, shiny black leather riding boots with silver spurs, and a black lace scoop bra." After seeing the Vogue pages, [Robert Dumas] succumbed to a malaise," Newton recalled. "Happily," Newton added, "he recovered."