L'Allan, a bucolic leather workshop | Hermès

The communities

L'Allan, a bucolic leather workshop

Franche-Comté is a region renowned for fine workmanship, or bienfacture as its Swiss neighbours would say, in both the automotive and leather industries. Hermès has chosen it as the location for three of its leather workshops. After Seloncourt (opened in 1996) and Héricourt (2016), the Manufacture de l'Allan in Allenjoie (Department of Doubs), expands this regional hub that now employs 560 artisans. Their number will rise to 780 within three years. 
The atmosphere is studious in the light-filled workshops of the new Maroquinerie de L’Allan, Hermès’ third leather workshop in Franche-Comté and its sixteenth in France, where 40 or so artisans are applying themselves to crafting the Kelly bag.
After their initial training at the École Boudard or the Lycée Les Huisselets, two of Hermès’ regional partners renowned for their excellence in leather-working professions, they will spend six months in this building, clad in pale wood and set in middle of the countryside, to perfect their knowledge of the model. This is the key to their future as leatherworkers for Hermès.
For those who can craft this emblematic bag can craft anything: the Kelly is a veritable treasury of the house’s know-how in the métier, starting with its handle, a direct descendant of the equestrian harness designed by Thierry Hermès, the house’s founder.
This group's mentors have travelled only a handful of kilometres from their own site, the Maroquinerie de Seloncourt. Chosen for their experience in the profession, they are now training the new recruits. This “offshoot” model for skills sharing is also to be found in Hermès’ other regional hubs, in the Ile-de-France-Normandie, south-west and Rhône-Alpes regions.
“I am training eight people. In addition to technical skills, it is also important to pass on the culture of maintaining harmonious relations, patience, and the ability to adapt and make decisions... Good sense and the senses go hand-in-hand.”
Angèle Roy,
leatherworker and trainer at the Maroquinerie de l’Allan  

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