This Artist-Designed Hermès Silk Scarf Supports the Glass House
The idea of wearable art has always been central to the appeal of Hermès’s exquisite scarves. The French firm has a long history of commissioning artists to create designs, including in recent years Julio Le Parc, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Daniel Buren. Hermès’s latest artist collaboration is a limited-edition scarf based on Elaine Lustig Cohen’s 1967 abstract painting Centered Rhyme, a graphic, starlike composition created with bold bands of orange, lavender, gray, and pink. But the 36-inch-square, silk twill scarf has a special twist: Proceeds from sales benefit the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.
The pairing of Lustig Cohen’s work and the Glass House is no coincidence. In addition to being an artist, Lustig Cohen—who died this past October—was an accomplished graphic design (as well as a rare book dealer), and her first client was Philip Johnson, the architect of the Glass House.
Johnson hired her to help develop the lettering and signage for New York’s legendary Seagram Building, which he worked on with Mies van der Rohe. After that, Lustig Cohen and Johnson went on to do a series of other projects together, including for the Glass House, Yale University, and Lincoln Center. The two made a brilliant team, with her work brining a distinctly European, avant-garde sensibility to American graphics.
In 2015, when an exhibition of Lustig Cohen’s work was presented at the Glass House, the show inspired Hermès artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas to visit the artist in her Manhattan home and propose a collaboration. The resulting scarf is now available at select Hermès boutiques as well as the Glass House Design Store for $395. Proceeds will be used specifically for the preservation of the Glass House.