Style | Swellboy

Swellboy on… being a businessman

The world of takeovers is not a suitable place for a man of pleasure

Swellboy on… being a businessman

April 12 2011
Nick Foulkes

I am not a big one for soap operas, but I am making an exception in the case of the LVMH-Hermès saga. Luxury-world Kremlinonologists have been working overtime on the gnomic comments made by one Hermès family member, Nicolas Puech, which, say some, could be interpreted as meaning that he is not entirely opposed to linking up with the French luxury goods conglomerate.

Meanwhile other members of the Hermès clan are rather less equivocal. “If you want to seduce a beautiful woman, you don’t start by raping her from behind,” said the CEO of Hermès of the interest taken in the famous headscarf-maker by Bernard Arnault. As corporate machismo goes, this is taking things a little far, don’t you think?

I know that there is a culture of braggadocio among high-flying businessmen, which probably explains why I am neither high-flying nor a businessman: I could not face all that getting up early, going to breakfast meetings, and having to master the management discipline of coming up with disturbing metaphors and vulgar vocabulary to describe the business world.

I always thought that the point of luxury was to snatch a little bit of pleasure from a world that is not always gentle or kind; and to insulate oneself from the less agreeable realities of life.

See also

People, Hermès