Luxury Brand Hermès To Launch New Leather Substitute Handbag

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Image Credit: Mycoworks

Hermès, the French luxury goods manufacturer established in 1837Hermès will release a new version of its Victoria handbag made of a mushroom-based leather developed by startup MycoWorks, by the end of this year. The exclusive partnership has been in building in the works for the last three years, and the result will be the first commercially available product using “Sylvania”, a leather substitute created from growing mushroom root systems.

“We could not imagine a better partner than Hermès to present our first object made of Fine Mycelium. Hermès and MycoWorks share common values of craftsmanship, quality, innovation, and patience,” 

“The power of storytelling is key in any new technology or art. Sylvania represents how nature and biotechnology can work in concert to create a material with the highest standards of quality.”

MycoWorks CEO Matt Scullin

MycoWorks which is based in Emeryville California will provide the mushroom leather for the Victoria bag to be process and finishing process in France by Hermès tanners before being manufactured by Hermes craftsmen. The final version of the Victoria has not been announced yet but initial material compositions include a combination of Sylvania, canvas, and Evercalf calfskin. 

The MycoWorks and Hermès are one of the latest joint ventures between “Big Fashion” brands and startups creating an animal-friendly alternative to traditional leather. Last year, startup Bolt Threads announced a partnership with Adidas, Stella McCartney, Lululemon, and Kering a group that manages the development of brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and more. 

This partnership will give the fashion brands exclusive access to Bolt Threads’ Mylo—which, like MycoWorks’ Sylvania, is made from mycelium that Bolt Threads crafts into leather. The partnership will result in the launch of new mushroom leather-based products in 2021.

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