This fall, Christophe Lemaire will part ways with Hermès after four years as artistic director of womenswear, the luxury label announced Monday. His final collection will be for spring 2015, to be shown in Paris Oct. 1. A replacement has not yet been named.
The split appears to have been amicable -- Lemaire said in a statement that he is leaving to devote more time to his own label. Plus, his designs seemed to be selling. "Under his artistic direction the métier has renewed its aesthetic and produced very satisfactory financial results," said newish Hermès CEO Axel Dumas in a statement. Indeed, ready-to-wear was one of the company's best performing categories this past quarter.
Lemaire, who left Lacoste to succeed Jean Paul Gaultier in 2010, was successful pushing Hermès -- a brand that could easily become seen as old and stuffy -- forward in a way that was wearable and cool, but that maintained the house's timeless, luxurious feel. We were particularly fond of the suiting he showed this past fall, which we're sure will continue to drive sales after Lemaire is gone.
We could also see this announcement kicking off a nice pre-fashion month round of creative director musical chairs. (Who will replace Lemaire? And who will replace whomever replaces Lemaire? etc.) Stay tuned.