Christophe Lemaire

Christophe Lemaire

Outgoing Artistic Director of Womenswear, Hermès

Formerly creative director at Lacoste, he has pushed the storied French label’s ready-to-wear towards pared-back elegance and functionality.

France Designers 2013 BoF 500 2013

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Formerly creative director at Lacoste, he has pushed the storied French label’s ready-to-wear towards pared-back elegance and functionality.

Christophe Lemaire's live mosaic

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Biography

Christophe Lemaire is the outgoing artistic director of Hermès womenswear, his final collection for the house will bow in the spring summer 2015 season. Lemaire is exiting the storied french house to focus on his own label. Axel Dumas, chief executive of Hermès, said of the move, "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."

Prior to his 2010 appointment at Hermès, Lemaire was creative director of Lacoste, a role he took up in 2001. “When Pierre-Alexis Dumas called me, I was surprised, astonished, at the same time, it seemed so obvious – the spirit of the brand – and we understood each other right away. We both had the idea of treating a piece of clothing as an object, but linked to functionality and realism,” he said shortly after his appointment.

The announcement that Lemaire would replace Jean-Paul Gaultier was met with surprise in the industry, as Gaultier’s tenure at the house had resulted in extraordinary commercial success. Lemaire quickly silenced his critics, however, crafting an aesthetic for the house that draws upon both his own paired-back simplicity and the heritage of Hermès to create effortless luxury. “I want… fashion that accompanies the personality,” says Lemaire. “Allowing freedom of movement and gesture, [the] clothes [should] allow a woman to be herself.”

Lemaire learnt his craft through internships at Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent and Thierry Mugler. The designer launched is own label ‘Crisp’ in 1992; the label produces both men’s and women’s lines and is sold in a select group of boutiques, including his own.

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