It appears Hermès already had a successor in place when it announced Monday that Christophe Lemaire, its artistic director of womenswear for the past four years, would be departing in October. Just three days later, confirming rumors that began just after the announcement, the luxury goods company has said that Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski will be taking over his duties.
Vanhee-Cybulski joins Hermès from The Row, where she was women's design director. Before that, she worked as a senior designer at Céline under Phoebe Philo and at Maison Martin Margiela before that.
The appointment suggests that Hermès values talent and experience over a marquee name. Vanhee-Cybulski is indeed suitably experienced: The Row and Céline are both luxury brands with a pared back aesthetic, and both have big handbag businesses.