Aloof. Alone. Leisurely. Urban. Introducing Le Flaneur by Hermes…
Just when you thought flanerie (or at least the flaneur) was sacred. Or too niche to warrant much attention from the mass market. You were wrong.
Gastronomy of the Eye
Leave it to Hermès – purveyors of luxe French apparel, accessories and perfumery – to recycle the mystique of flanerie. As a bike. With a price tag north of $10k. You read that right. That’s a bit spendy for this flaneur, but if you’re in the market for a pedal powered Rolls Royce Phantom (or its carbon fiber equivalent), then you’re in luck.
You want to knock around town in style but still burn a few calories? You might give Les Vélos d’Hermès a spin. Specifically, Le Flâneur, a town bike named for that wonderful French concept of a kind of loosely directed, multicurious wandering about Balzac defined it as “the gastronomy of the eye”. Le Flâneur combines an understated luxury–bull calf leather grips and saddle that will age to a fine patina–with technical touches like a lightweight carbon-fiber frame and hydraulic disc brakes. One doesn’t always need to suffer for beauty. (Forbes)
I’m certain that’s the first time I’ve read a bicycle review in Forbes.
Le Flâneur Sportif d’Hermès
Now if that elegant crème anglaise steed is too effete for your tastes, you can rest easy. Le Flaneur is also available in a sleeker model appropriately camouflaged for nocturnal flaneurs.
Famous for its silk scarves and ties, Hermès… [is diversifying with a] duo of handsome carbon fiber bicycles… Le Flâneur d’Hermès and Le Flâneur sportif d’Hermès. Each will feature a shock-absorbing frame, belt-driven transmission and hydraulic disc brakes, as well as a choice of eight or 11 gears integrated into the rear wheel hub. (FreshnessMag.com)
Is Le Flaneur by Hermes Art or Bike?
While an inveterate and unabashed flaneur, I’m not sure what to make of these posh toys/tools. It would be criminal to pretend that Le Flâneur sportif is not a beautiful bike. It is. Minimalist, elegant and poised. I’d seriously consider hanging one on my wall.
Francois Dore, managing director of Hermes’ Horizons department, stated,”We set out to make a real bike, not a decorative object. It had to be simple, efficient, easy to use, pleasant and elegant”, according to WWD. (The Style of the Case)
Right. It’s not wall art. It’s a real bike, a tool for flaneurs on urban safaris. Besides, is a $10,000 honestly any more more ostentatious than a turtle on a leash? No. But then again, I’m not a turtle strolling flaneur…
- Le Flâneur Town Bike By Hermès (forbes.com)
- Hermès To Introduce Luxury Carbon Fiber Bikes (freshnessmag.com)
- Hermès $10,000 Bicycle (thestyleofthecase.com)
- Luxe Rides (theartfulblog.com)
- Hermes is Back in the Bicycle Game (purseblog.com)