Luxury brand Hermès launches new handbag made of mushroom leather
The luxury brand Hermès will be releasing a new version of its Victoria handbag made from Sylvania, a vegan mushroom-based leather developed by the startup MycoWorks, at the end of the year. The exclusive collaboration, which has been in the works for three years, will result in the first commercially available product using Sylvania or Fine Mycelium – a leather made from rapidly growing fungal root systems.
“We couldn’t think of a better partner than Hermès to present our first object made from fine mycelium. Hermès and MycoWorks share the common values of craftsmanship, quality, innovation and patience, ”said Matt Scullin, CEO of MycoWorks said. “The power of storytelling is the key to any new technology or art. Sylvania shows how nature and biotechnology can work together to create a material with the highest quality standards. “
The Californian company MycoWorks will supply the mushroom leather for the Victoria bag, which is tanned and finished in France by Hermès tanners before it is shaped by the fashion house’s artisans. “The vision and values of MycoWorks reflect those of Hermès: a strong fascination with natural raw materials and their transformation, a pursuit of excellence with the aim of ensuring that objects are used optimally and their longevity is maximized,” says Pierre-Alexis Dumas , Artistic Director of Hermès, said. “With Sylvania, Hermès is at the heart of what it has always been: innovation in the making.”
The final version of the Victoria bag has yet to be announced, but the first material compositions include a combination of Sylvania, canvas and Evercalf calfskin (which is made from the skins of young cows).
Fashion is leather-free
MycoWorks and Hermès are the latest collaboration between major fashion brands and startups creating more sustainable and animal-friendly alternatives to traditional leather. Last year, biotech startup Bolt Threads announced a partnership with fashion giants Adidas, Stella McCartney, Lululemon and Kering – a luxury fashion group that spearheads the development of brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and more . This partnership gives the fashion brands exclusive access to Bolt Threads ‘Mylo, which, like MycoWorks’ Sylvania, is made from mycelium, which Bolt Threads processes into vegan leather. The partnership will lead to the launch of new mushroom leather-based products in 2021.