How the Hermes scarf has become one of the world's most recogniseable accessories



07:05 GMT, 16 August 2012

Every 25 seconds a Hermes scarf is sold. Since 1937, the squares of silk have become the French fashion house’s most famous piece and one of the world’s most recognisable accessories.

Great for adding colour to a neutral outfit, the first design featured a group of wigged women playing a popular game of the day.

Since then over 2,000 patterns — from tribal print to graffiti — have been produced by 150 artists all over the world.

Audrey Hepburn

Grace Kelly

Style classic: Screen icons Audrey Hepburn (left) and Grace Kelly were both fans

Every one is painstakingly screen-printed, with each colour allowed to dry before the next is applied — which goes some way to justify the price. The scarves cost from 230 to around 500.

In the 75 years since its debut, celeb fans have used the Hermes Carre in increasingly ingenious ways — Sharon Stone employed them in a little light bondage in Basic Instinct and Grace Kelly used one as an impossibly elegant sling for her broken arm.

Even the Queen wore one in a 1956 portrait for a postage stamp. This season, take your cue from Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O, who wore theirs as headscarves.