Koto Bolofo is the first photographer to have been granted unlimited access to the secret workshops of Hermes, the house famous for its leather goods, scarves and other beautiful objects. "La Maison", itself an elaborate object comprising eleven volumes and the result of seven years work, showcases Bolofos painstaking documentation of the Hermes universe. Bolofos photos explore every facet of Hermes craftsmanship, from the manufacturing of saddles, silk scarves and the famous Kelly Bag, to ready-to-wear, shoes and perfume. Bolofo left no stone unturned: even the private Hermes museum is revealed, a treasure trove hidden in Hermes headquarters on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. The story of how the La Maison project began has become part of Hermes history. In 2002 Bolofo met the chairman of Hermes, Jean-Louis Dumas. Says Bolofo: Mr Dumas asked me where I came from and I said Lesotho in South Africa. He was shocked and excited, explaining that his great great great grandfather was a missionary, and how the Sothos my tribe had protected him. Mr Dumas welcomed me as his cousin and gave me carte blanche to photograph what I liked at Hermes.
Koto Bolofo was born in South Africa in 1959 and raised in Great Britain. Bolofo has photographed and made short films for magazines such as "Vogue", "Vanity Fair", and "GQ". He has created advertising campaigns for companies including Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Dom Perignon. Bolofo lives in the Vendee, France, and his books with Steidl include "Venus", "I Spy with My Little Eye", "Something beginning with S", "Vroom! Vroom!", "La Maison" and "Grande Complications".