Jean Paul Gaultier Said To Be Resigning From Hermes

Change is brewing at Hermès, and it's starting with Jean Paul Gaultier. The designer is said to be resigning from the company; his last collection for the house is due to bow in Paris this October. In addition to producing his eponymous collections of ready-to-wear and haute couture, Gaultier has spent the last six years as Hermès' creative director following Martin Margiela's resignation in early 2003. An Hermès spokesperson did not return requests for comment.

Gaultier's accomplished tenure at Hermès has been governed by critical runway acclaim and tremendous profitability, cementing the brand's enviable status as one of the most recession-proof luxury houses. In July, the company released exceptionally positive earnings reports, announcing a 12% increase in second-quarter sales ($607.4 million at current exchange) in the 3 months ending June 30. Leather goods were up 33.4%; ready-to-wear and fashion increased by 12.7%.

Hermès' courtship of Gaultier began in June 1999, when the brand invested $23 million into the designer's eponymous collection for a 35% stake. "I believe," said Hermès' then-CEO Jean-Louis Dumas at the time, "that Gaultier has the capacity to be what Hermès has become." - The Fashion Daily


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