Adding a touch of Parisian chic to one of London’s finest artistic establishments, French fashion house Hermès lands at number 6 Burlington Gardens with ‘Leather Forever.’

This May, you can find out exactly what makes the precious Hermès Birkin bag worth their pretty pennies, without spending them yourself! Starting out as a brand specialising in exquisite equestrian equipment, founded by a French gentleman named Thierry Hermès, the luxury power fashion house is now celebrating its 175th birthday. In a grand celebratory toast, the Royal Academy of Art are launching an expansive Hermès exhibition entitled ‘Leather Forever’, detailing the Hermès journey through form and fabric, from tough to handle calfskin, niloticus crocodile and ring lizard to perfectly seamed, absolutely iconic bags. For what would a Hermès exhibition be without its IT bags? On display are variations of the timeless Kelly and Birkin and even whimsical Pegasus satchels to long for.

In addition, Hermès have created four exclusive ‘Passe-Guide’ handbags which each have their own unique identity, inspired by the UK and Ireland. Perfect compact size, the bags embody the brand’s original equestrian vision and will be auctioned online by Christie’s. In a final good deed, all proceeds will be donated to the Royal Academy of Arts charity.

Leather Forever runs at The Royal Academy of Art from 8th — 27th May 2012.