Jean Paul Gaultier, artistic director of Hermes International SCA’s women’s ready-to-wear unit, is leaving to concentrate on his own label after working for Hermes for the past seven years. He will be showing the last collection he will be making for Hermes in October for the 2011 Summer-Spring collection. The fashion house is going to replace Gaultier with Cristophe Lemaire who has been Lacoste’s artistic director since 2001.
The split is said to be an amicable with Gaultier quoted as saying that it “has been a marvelous adventure which has allowed me to learn about a new ‘savoir faire’.” In a statement released by Hermes International they said that they are “deeply grateful to Jean Paul Gaultier for his outstanding creative contribution during these past seven years.” Grateful or not, in fashion business is business and I guess Hermes knew that they just needed some new blood to take their apparel section to the next level.
Hermes has also releases a statement saying that they will continue to have a relationship with Jean Paul Gaultier since they currently have a 45% stake on the designer’s own label and have no plans of selling their share anytime soon. According to fashionista, Steff Yotka, Hermes’ actions indicate the opposite of that statement and that Jean Paul Gaultier’s label might suffer setbacks, even go bankrupt, like Christian Lacroix did after he left Pucci in 2005, if some other fashion conglomerate doesn’t swoop in to help him bankroll his label. For now that is all just speculation and with more time in his hands we can hope to see even better things from Jean Paul Gaultier’s label by winter.