And who it is will definitely surprise you.
His name is Kermit Oliver, and he’s been painting those brilliant, intricate designs for the storied label since the ’80s. But here’s the kicker: he’s a postal worker in his late sixties who lives a quiet life in Waco, Texas.
Oliver is an accomplished artist whose pieces have been sold by Hooks-Epstein gallery in Houston for up to $70,000 and has even been profiled by People. However, he tends to stay out of the spotlight, and has chosen not to support his family through his work. In his own words, “That doesn’t interest me. Painting is just something I do.” He still works the night shift at the post office in Waco, as he’s been doing for the past 28 years, and paints after he gets home.
But most people for whom painting is just “something they do” can’t say that they’ve created 16 scarves for Hermès, all of which have sold out. Each design, which Oliver paints on a 90×90 square (the same size as the scarves themselves) of watercolor paper and then sends to Hermès to be silkscreened, can take up to a year complete, but they are some of the brand’s most beloved.
Click over to Texas Monthly to read an extensive profile of Oliver.