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August 2 2014

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68 posts tagged "Hermes"

UPDATED: Nadège Vanhee Rumored to Be Hermès’ Top Pick

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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.

hermesLet 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.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos/Indigitalimages.com

BREAKING: Christophe Lemaire to Leave Hermès

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Christophe LemaireAfter 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.

Photo: Getty Images

The Birkin Whisperer Ignites a Lawsuit Against Christie’s

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US-FRANCE-FASHION-LUXURY-BAGS-AUCTIONIt’s a battle of the Birkins for Heritage Auctions and Christie’s International. Matthew Rubinger, formerly the resident Hermès handbag expert at Heritage, recently departed the company to join Christie’s, and took Heritage’s “trade secrets” along with him. The New York Times reports that no one knows rare Birkins like Rubinger, 26, who began buying and reselling purses back in high school. Heritage claims in the lawsuit that it invested in his identity, branded him as a star, and introduced him to sources in Hong Kong and Japan. It goes without saying that they were less than pleased when Rubinger traded teams, and they have since filed a lawsuit against Christie’s, Rubinger, and two high-level associates who also left, for breach of contract and stealing trade secrets. Rubinger and his associates’ departure from the auction house left Heritage with essentially no luxury accessories team.

While Heritage has always specialized in high-end accessories, Christie’s, a house generally more concerned with Picasso and Matisse than Hermès and Chanel, has recently made a push into the luxury fashion market. Heritage is seeking $60 million in damages and lost profits, a number that reflects the significant earnings Heritage raked in from Hermès handbag sales. Last December, Heritage sold a one-of-a-kind porosus crocodile and black Togo leather Kelly bag for $125,000, and in late 2011, a red crocodile Birkin bag with 18-karat white-gold and diamond hardware went for a record $203,000. Without those sizable profits, it’s unclear how Heritage will continue with its current plans to expand the business.

Photo: Stan Honda / Getty Images

The Hermès Woman Is No Fashion Victim

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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.

Introducing “Through Cédric’s Eyes”

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Cedric Rivrain

Think fashion illustration is a thing of the past? Think again. “I love photography—however, sometimes it’s a little too obvious,” said Paris-based artist Cédric Rivrain when asked about imagery in the digital age. “But fashion illustration, it has poetry. And it helps express the essence of the clothing—both visual and emotional.”

Rivrain’s career is proof enough that designers, insiders, and fashion enthusiasts alike have a hankering for illustration. He’s lent his talents to Lanvin, Hermès, John Galliano (he was the in-house illustrator at Dior), Maison Michel, Martine Sitbon, and more, and has contributed visions to such publications as AnOther, Dazed & Confused, and Numero. Since launching his career in 2001, Rivrain has become one of the most in-demand artists in the biz, and now he’ll be creating exclusive, weekly illustrations for Style.com. Without further ado, we bring you the first installment of “Through Cédric’s Eyes.”

Liya Kebede in Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière, Fall 2014

Louis Vuitton by Cedric Rivrain

“Sans makeup, sans styled hair, just a natural beauty in a beautiful dress. Very French…very chic.” —Cédric Rivrain

Illustrations: Cedric Rivrain