The 26 of May marked the announcement of Jean-Paul Gaultier leaving Hermès Couture. I still wonder why.
Since 2004, Mr Gaultier brought to Hermès the timeless modern femininity. There are women buying Hermès thanks to Mr Gaultier talent to create the Sublime from simple ideas. Jean-Louis Dumas had the visionary idea to marry the Horse Carriage brand to the innovative Sailor Marinière (re)inventor. The result of this collaboration was 7 years of beautiful collections where know-how and daring attitude lift up Hermès in the fashion industry.
All the official reports told us that Mr Gaultier wanted to focus on personal projects and that is why their collaboration ended. The Brand announced the arrival of Christophe Lemaire in charge of the Feminine line. His first collection will be Fall 2011.
Mr Lemaire arrived in the Fashion world almost by chance. He was the assistant of great Houses like Thierry Mugler, Lacroix, Patou or Saint Laurent. Since 2000 he was in charge of the creation at Lacoste. His studies in Arts at Art Deco revealed his passion for color and since then he explored this theme in a very successful way. When he arrived at Lacoste in 2000, the brand was the shadow of its past. The green crocodile was not shiny anymore. But with lot of talent, patience and a great sense of color, Christophe Lemaire put Lacoste back on track. But as lots of people say: Lacoste is not Hermès… That is certain.
When Jean-Louis Dumas gave the Artistic lead of Hermès Couture to Martin Margiela in 1997, all fashionistas were wondering if it was a right choice. When Jean-Paul Gaultier was invited in 2004 to replace Martin Margiela, again, the same fashionistas were still wondering the reasons of such choices. What we can say is that since 1997, Hermès positioned itself as one of the biggest luxury houses in the world. The clever combination of the finest goods, precious know-how and timeless elegance brought the image of the Hermès woman to the top. Lots of women would dye for Lagerfeld, but all of them crave for a Kelly Bag.
Ok, so here is the secret of Jean-Louis Dumas choices of Martin Margiela and Jean-Paul Gaultier : They both know how to sublime women thanks to the cutting-edge of their style. It is not a secret that the first one was the assistant of the second. Hermès revealed one of the most luxury vision of women in all occasions.
Christophe Lemaire has a huge challenge ahead. He is not a “woman sublimer”. He is more like a “fashion-painter”. I wish I am wrong but until now nothing shows how will he be able to keep the desirability of the Hermès woman. Until then, we should appreciate Gaultier’s last collections at Hermès. What do you think?