With Hermès’ recent foray into the dazzling world of beauty, Creative Director Gregoris Pyrpylis is already making a splash with the house’s concentrated line of products that emphasize a perfection-focused range of essentials that any beauty connoisseur would love. With the fusion of Pyrpylis’s long-established industry knowledge of products, combined with Hermes’ long-standing use of only the best materials and ingredients, the new range of products seeks out to champion the ideal of minimal yet impactful beauty

To better understand what makes the products so special, V’s Digital & Beauty Editor Kevin Ponce sat down with Gregoris at Hermes’ newly renovated Madison Avenue boutique to play around with the products and see why the new essentials are soon to become your go-to’s.

V Magazine: Now with a new collection under your belt, how has the job as Creative Director for Hermès Beauty been so far? 

Gregoris Pyrpylis: Amazing, as you can imagine. It’s such a beautiful house with such a long history, more than 180 years worth of history. With all these different materials, as one inspires the other one, it’s like another universe, you know? Diving into this universe is something that I never thought that I would ever have the chance to do, so now joining Hermès as the creative director for beauty is kind of a dream come true. 

V: That’s sweet! It must be quite a large creative team to work alongside them.

GP: It’s a house where every material has its own creative direction, whether it’s the silk, the leather—we’re having this exchange very often with the other directors. Every time we meet, we have this kind of creative discussion to see what we want to do.

V: How often are you all getting together? I feel as if that must be like getting Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all together in one room. 

GP: (*laughs*) You know, it’s difficult to find the time to speak, but once a month, we get to connect and have these meaningful meetings where we really see how we can construct [all divisions] with a solid base. 

Courtesy of Hermès Beauty

V: When you have all these discussions and they start talking about the silks to the ready-to-wear, special objects, homeware, dog wear, where do you interject and find a reason for inspirational beauty in the mix? 

GP: I’ve always had a free spirit, so inspiration can come from anything outside or within Hermès–I’m just inspired by the world we live in. The house is so rich in colors and textures, for example, the matte and satin lipsticks–the matte shades have this kind of powdery-velvet effect that is inspired by the doblis leather’s finish and feels so soft, but very rich in pigment. Then for the satin lipsticks, we were inspired by the box leather, which is more luminous and shiny, and then for the blushes, we were inspired by the Hermès silks with its luminosity, transparency, and vivid, yet very delicate colors that we get from the texture. When I talk with Christine [Nagel], she tells me what she’s planning to do with Hermès for the perfume, and she can even inspire me with just a simple discussion. So you can imagine that the possibilities are endless. 

V: Are the early years of the house a source for approaching beauty collections as well? 

GP: For our Plein Air collection that we just launched in the US, we were inspired not by a specific texture or materials, but by the fact that Hermès as a house started the first ready-to-wear collection in the 1920s. Back then, the director was Émile Hermès, and he had four beautiful daughters, and he was designing clothes for them for their outdoor activities, making them look extremely beautiful but also providing comfort. So this is exactly the same idea for the whole Plein Air collection. We wanted to arrive with an offering that women and men today can wear and place in their beauty routines for their everyday life–centered around always bringing comfort. 

V: Amazing. And obviously, the concentration is not heavy full makeup. I’m not a natural girl myself, but this is perfect for those days when you just want your skin to breathe.

GP: Right. For us, Plein Air is not just makeup–it’s really a collection that bridges the gap between makeup and skincare. All of the beauty objects you see are enriched with a lot of skincare properties. For example, in our balm, we have hyaluronic acid in different molecular weights so you have instant, but also long-lasting hydration. It is enriched with a pair of active ingredients, which include primrose extract and Chinese Baikal skullcap. Together, they protect the skin against any environmental aggressors, whether it’s pollution or accelerative stress. 

Courtesy of Hermès Beauty

V: So the ingredients combined to act as almost a skin shield while blurring and correcting. 

GP: Exactly. It’s true protection. Then we also have an ingredient that we’re extremely proud of called morus alba, which comes from the white mulberry tree and is very well known for its antioxidant properties–which has been conceived by our in-house lab outside of Paris. It’s an ingredient that you find in the powders, in the balm, and also in the blushes–it’s like a common thread and we are really proud of it. 

V: What was the approach for ingredients when making the products suitable for a multitude of skin types?

GP: We have mineral filters in the products of SPF 30 because we wanted our formulas to be ideal even for the most sensitive skin types. It was about creating a shield, and it doesn’t penetrate the skin. So even for the most sensitive skin type, you can work with it because it feels like a skincare. 

V: And it’s actually got some coverage. It can build the coverage up quite a bit. And the balm itself is adaptable to a range of shades, right?

GP: Yes we came out with 12 beautiful shades, and the very particular characteristic about this shade range is that each shade can be worn by three different skin tones. Meaning for example, my shade right now is 40, but I can wear 30 by bringing a bit more luminosity to the skin–all without having this kind of white or gray cast. I can also go for 50 and it will just make my skin look a bit more sun-kissed with a very natural effect. 

Gregoris Pyrpylis | Courtesy of Hermès Beauty

V: It also could mix or just be used on certain parts of the face, and not be spread around like a mask.

GP: This is the best way to [do it]. The face is not a flat surface, it has contours, volumes, and depths so you have to embrace that and kind of accentuate it. We really wanted to arrive in the market with an offering that really embraces natural beauty, while feeling extremely comfortable on the skin, and always keeping the skin looking real. Right now, is it going to be our only range for the complexion? No. We will go bigger, but I can tell you that for sure that we will always have this kind of approach only for essential offerings. I’ve been a professional makeup artist for 16 years now and I am overwhelmed every time I enter a beauty store because there’s so much. There are so many things to see so you don’t know where to start or where to end. Besides getting the best ingredients and packaging, if the product is not at the level of an Hermès product, we’re not gonna come out with it. My goal with Hermès Beauty is to simplify products for everyday life. It doesn’t mean to make things boring, you can still have fun with it. But some people have difficulties with finding joy in beauty. 

V: And the same ethos carries over to the other products such as the powers and brushes.

GP: We really worked with our laboratory to find powders that don’t create a white cast on the skin. Even for darker skin tones, it really really melts into the skin without looking like a powder effect. We have a radiant glow powder, which we would call a highlighter–It’s not blinding, but it is a highlighter that naturally will enhance and reflect the light with its golden and pink sparkles. And for the best way to apply those powders, we needed a brush that is made from natural goat hair. And the way that it’s collected, it comes from a very traditional method where they brush the animal and they pick up the finest of the hair. 

V: There also seems to be a huge concentration on refills, which is not only more sustainable—it’s just so damn chic. 

GP: Our approach for beauty doesn’t stand only in good ingredients and beautiful colors, but also in where we can have refillable objects because it’s in respect to the environment. For example, a nice jacket from Hermès is going stay put for life–sustainability is not a trend for Hermès. And this was conceived into the DNA of the house long ago.

Courtesy of Hermès Beauty

V: Exactly. Even within the history of beauty and society, it’s always been traditional for women in the ‘40s and ‘50s to have refillable makeup containers.

GP: That’s the exact same approach for our collection, down to the blotting sheets in this beautiful orange Hermès box. 

V: I mean, who doesn’t love an orange box? 

GP: We have our little silk bloating papers in them. We call them silk but there’s no actual silk in them–they just feel like silk because they’re extremely lightweight and very soft. One of the ingredients comes from the Mallory trees and it’s extremely well known for its very long and very soft fibers. 

V: For Hermès Beauty, it doesn’t seem like you’re doing drops every mid-quarter, like a lot of beauty brands. I feel like that’s a little bit too wasteful. 

GP: We put a lot of thought behind every single launch. So for the moment, we come out every six months with our limited editions. For us, it’s almost like a fashion accessory, which it’s not based on a trend. It’s both based on an idea or a philosophy that we have. So for example, in our limited edition lipstick collection–we worked on three different reds. They’re all matte except one shade which has very fine golden sparkles which give a very soft, frosty look. The idea was the combustion of the natural elements where the earth cracks and you can see the lava coming out and also the fact that the material becomes the color so there’s also one red for each skin tone. It’s also the first time that we arrive with our collection with two nail polishes with added metallic finishes that serve as the fusion of the metals that we find in the earth.

Courtesy of Hermès Beauty

V: In five to ten years, where do you hope to take Hermès Beauty? 

GP: I don’t think that I will take Hermès Beauty somewhere, but rather that I think Hermès Beauty is going take me somewhere unknown. I always see this kind of essential offering being added to our collection but I always want to have this kind of fun element in beauty. If you wake up and you think ‘Oh, oh my God, I have to do my makeup now’, then I think there’s something wrong. Meaning that you should see makeup differently because makeup is here to highlight our lives. It’s a fun thing to do. I hope that at some point with Hermès, we will have a full range that will talk to the heart of men and women. And that it will always bring a sense of simplification.

V: Less clutter, truly is what everyone needs. There’s a big beauty trend now of getting rid of your makeup. I’ve seen girls on TikTok who are very big on throwing out makeup. And only keep products that work for you. It’s all in the same vein as the line.

GP: That’s all you need, You know? That’s how I see beauty. As I said, have fun with beauty but you don’t need a million lipsticks or foundations. Makeup can make you discover who you are and put out any kind of facet of your personality every day.

Kevin Ponce is V’s Digital & Beauty Editor.

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