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Founded by harnessmaker Thierry Hermès in 1837, Hermès has long been famous for its equestrian-influenced designs, and it still offers beautifully handcrafted made-to-measure saddles. But the Paris-based firm also has a storied association with the world of automobiles: In 1923 Thierry’s grandson Émile-Maurice introduced a chic leather handbag dubbed the sac pour l’auto (still sold as the Bolide bag), as well as trunks to fit on the backs of Bugattis and slick chrome radiator caps.
It is this legacy that Hermès tapped into for Rallye 24, a collection of Limoges-porcelain dinnerware incorporating a graphic racetrack motif—first used in the company’s Circuit 24 silk scarf last year—that references both its venerable chaîne d’ancre pattern and the classic Circuit 24 toy racetrack. In contrast with most Hermès china, which is often nature-themed, Rallye 24 “is very masculine and modern,” says Yves Taralon, a celebrated interior designer and the brand’s creative director of tableware. It is also a sly nod to the 24-hour race in Taralon’s hometown of Le Mans, as well as to the 133-year-old Hermès flagship store at 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
Taralon collaborated with the firm’s artistic director of decorative objects, Benoît-Pierre Emery, and Rotterdam designer Damian O’Sullivan on the comprehensive line, which includes plates, bowls, cups, platters, a vase, and a teapot. The six color options recall vintage racing-team hues in glossy automobile-style finishes.
Rallye 24’s most modern aspect, however, is its practicality. “We wanted to do something that was simple and somewhat casual, for use all day long, not just for a formal table,” Taralon explains. The designers also ensured that the pieces stack easily and are dishwasher- and microwave-safe, making the collection, Taralon says, “the most technically designed dinnerware we’ve ever done.”