69 posts tagged "Hermes"
UPDATE: Multiple industry sources have now confirmed to Style.com that Nadège Vanhee will succeed Christophe Lemaire as the creative director of womenswear at Hermès. The house is believed to be sending out an official announcement tomorrow morning.
Let the rumors begin! According to WWD, word on the street is that behind-the-scenes star Nadège Vanhee, who cut her teeth at Delvaux and Maison Martin Margiela, worked under Phoebe Philo as the design director at Céline, and is now the design director at The Row, is Hermès’ top pick to succeed Christophe Lemaire as the head of womenswear. It would be nice to see someone like Vanhee, who has a wealth of experience and an eye for clean, sophisticated luxury, get a mega-gig like the one at Hermès—goodness knows she’s paid her dues. An announcement may be made as early as this week.
When I first heard this rumor, it reminded me of Jil Sander’s choice to hire Rodolfo Paglialunga—a designer who, save a stint as the creative director at Vionnet, earned his stripes working behind the scenes at Prada for 10 years. And then there’s the case of Julie de Libran’s appointment at Sonia Rykiel. Another under-the-radar gem, de Libran designed the pre-collections for Louis Vuitton, but was, of course, not as well known as the brand’s creative director and face, Marc Jacobs. Sometimes it makes sense to have a big name head up a big house. But it’s nice to see that the work of talented, though less famous, industry vets does not go unnoticed.
After four years heading up womenswear at Hermès, Christophe Lemaire is leaving the French heritage house to focus on his eponymous label. Spring ’15, which will walk down the runway in Paris this October, will be his final collection for the brand. “Working for Hermès has been a great pleasure, a profoundly enriching experience on both a human and professional level. I am proud of what we have built together. My own label is growing in an important way, and I now really want and need to dedicate myself to it fully,” offered Lemaire, who replaced Jean Paul Gaultier when he took the reins in 2010. “I am very grateful to Christophe for the passion with which he has addressed and enriched the expression of our house in women’s ready-to-wear. Under his artistic direction, the métier has renewed its aesthetic and produced very satisfactory financial results,” said Hermès CEO Axel Dumas in a statement.
Now, of course, the guessing games will begin as to Lemaire’s successor. Hermès might argue that its brand is less dependent than most on having a “star” designer, and in recent months the house has been increasingly keen to raise the profile of Bali Barret, who, as artistic director of the women’s “universe,” oversees a number of the métiers, including the womenswear. Still, it’s intriguing to think what would happen if certain big-name designers took the helm or if Hermès was to go the route that Loewe recently took of hiring an up-and-coming talent like Jonathan Anderson. On the other hand, there were always those in the industry who felt it was Helmut Lang’s ultimate destiny to alight at the French luxury firm. That seems unlikely, but stay tuned.
Hermès pulled out all the stops and then some for its “All About Women” event here in New York last night, creating tableaux vivants showcasing the house’s many métiers. Our favorite was the bangle bar, where models with stacks of Hermès bracelets on each wrist dispensed flutes of bubbly. (You can read more about the installations in our party report.) Earlier in the evening, creative director Christophe Lemaire’s Fall collection, originally shown in Paris back in March, got a repeat performance. In this video, airing exclusively on Style.com, the designer shares his point of view on the Hermès customer: “She’s not a fashion victim. She likes style. She knows who she is, and she’s looking for timeless beauty and real luxury.” Sound like you? Watch the clip.