One of the reasons that Hermes seems to thrive where other luxury brands falter is that the brand has always eschewed 'masstige' -- luxury aimed at the masses. While other brands have expanded and then discounted, Hermes has held on to a fine snobbery that has served it well even in the recession. That strategy isn't set to change. The Financial Times recently talked with Patrick Thomas
the CEO of the luxury brand who has said the brand has held off on expanding as fast as they could because they don't want to squander the legacy of the company's history. Thomas refers to it as a "capital sin" to use the image of the company to try and make short term money.
The company has made some accommodations to deal with the growing demand for their products. Over the last 20 years the brand has expanded its cadre of artisans from around 300 to over 2,000 but they still can't keep up with the demand for the popular Birkin bags beloved of celebrities and the wealthy including Victoria Beckham, shown at right. Thomas also cleared up the rumor that Hermes might be investing in jewelry brand Asprey after picking up
their London store. Thomas insists that the company was only after the prime real estate, not the company within.