Pierre Hermé talks about leadership to the Luxury Hotelschool Paris

Pierre Hermé, Founder of Maison Pierre Hermé
Pierre Hermé, Founder of Maison Pierre Hermé

“One of the characteristics of the luxury industry is the search for differentiation”, says Pierre Hermé to the Luxury Hotelschool. Frequently called 'The Dior of desserts', 'The Picasso of pastry', a world star, creator of 'Haute-Pâtisserie', Pierre Hermé explains the special connection between desserts and luxury hotels: “Finding one's own style, developing it, cultivating it and being able to promote it, are the leitmotiv of the players of luxury, especially in the hospitality industry. That's why all luxury hotels ask the greatest pastry chefs for their know-how, originality, creativity and signature.”

“Pastry is a powerful vector of communication for luxury hotels to enhance their offer: it is everywhere in the calendar for most events and celebrations, and it is accessible — at tea-time for example — attracting a wider audience. The first great pastry chefs who showed the way and were hosted by luxury hotels are Christophe Felder at the Crillon and Christophe Michalak at the Plaza Athénée. Followed by Julien Alvarez at Le Bristol, Nicolas Paciello at Le Fouquet's, Camille Lesecq, then Cédric Grolet at Le Meurice, and many others.”

Today, La Maison Pierre Hermé is a partner of luxury groups La Mamounia, Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt, and New Otani. Named the 4th most influential French personality in the world in 2016 by Vanity Fair, Pierre Hermé led his first team of 36 people at the age of 24. “I was obviously not the same leader as today, but my conviction has always been to be attentive to others, to convince and engage my teams towards performance while respecting everyone, with conviction and determination.”

Like the formula “He is to macaroons what Louis Vuitton is to handbags”, which accompanied his title of Best Pastry Chef in the World in 2016, Pierre Hermé embodies French luxury around the world (more than 50 shops in 12 countries). “French luxury, with its spirit and style, has inspired all luxury brands around the world. The kings and queens of France have initiated this trend. Great personalities then enriched and modernised it. Creation, refinement and the art of living make this long-lasting French-style luxury very noticeable.”

Among the major developments in the luxury industry, Pierre Hermé highlights Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): “We are even talking about Brands Social Responsibility (BSR), which is increasingly prevalent in luxury. It is definitely a current issue. At Maison Pierre Hermé, we have been working for many months on packaging and overpack issues for example, to evolve towards a more sober packaging, less intensive in materials.” It is essentiel for the future of the luxury industry.