After the announcement of Sergio Rossi’s death, another creative mastermind has left us. This morning, I received the announcement that «it is with great emotion and sadness that the House of Hermès learned on the 4th of April 2020 the passing of Leïla Menchari, the Queen of Enchantment as Michel Tournier called her.»
The book in English entitled «Leïla Menchari, the Queen of Enchantment» can be ordered online on the Hermès website and shows most of her works for the French Maison.
Born in 1927 in Tunis, Leïla was a trained painter at the Beaux Arts School of fine arts in Tunis, then the Beaux Arts School of fine arts in Paris, she was a model for Guy Laroche for a while, before entering the Annie Beaumel‘s decoration team at Hermès in 1961.
Window display S/S 1995 with a sculpture by Christian Renonciat
An outstanding dreamer and storyteller, she was the Artistic Director of the windows of 24 Faubourg, the Hermès flagship store in Paris. Her visual concepts never ceased to arouse curiosity, astonishment and surprise to the amazement of passers-by, creating windows that opened to another realm. «Thanks to Leïla, exoticism found a home, happily and permanently, in Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré», says Axel Dumas.
The glass green grotto from 1992 was among of Leïla’s highlights.
In 2017, Hermès à tire-d’aile, les Mondes de Leïla Menchari, an exhibition which celebrated her vision at the Grand Palais, allowed a wider audience discover her unique and poetic universe.
Leïla Menchari has long been the driving force behind the House’s Colours Committee, leaving a legacy through her elegance and her extraordinary sense of nuance evident in the Women’s Silk collection.
Sandy dreams from the land of the pharaohs in 2005.
«Many of us at Hermès have learned a lot from Leïla. She taught us to look at the world through the prism of color. She was a storyteller without equal that enchanted the world. We are infinitely grateful to her for all that she has done for us, that she passed on to us», adds Pierre-Alexis Dumas.
Primary colors in 1982.
An open, generous, resolutely modern woman, she was a woman of freedom. Her passing leaves to all those who had the joy of knowing and working with her, on both sides of the Mediterranean, the memory of a perpetual quest for beauty, a boundless passion for creation and craftsmanship.
Rest in Peace, Leïla Menchari! Below you can enjoy more of her amazing creations that might inspire you to redecorate your home …
Leïla working in the windows on a display.
Photos: © Hermès