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“This is not a company, it’s a house. And one that has protected me since I was a very young man,” says Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès and the sixth generation of family owners. His office does indeed feel more like a fashionable studio apartment than the nerve centre of one of the most recognisable brands in fashion, the walls dotted with contemporary paintings and tear sheets. He’s sitting swaddled in a cashmere-felt blanket at a low table in the middle of the room as the in-house executive chef delivers us a breakfast of…

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