How Hermès Stole The Olsens' Head Designer

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hermes-1Photo: Inez & Vinoodh, courtesy Hermès.
Today’s name to know: Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski. The 36-year-old French designer has been appointed artistic director for women’s ready-to-wear at Hermès, leaving her role as design director at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row.

Women’s Wear Daily describes Vanhee-Cybulski as "a behind-the-scenes talent with a strong track record" at Maison Martin Margiela and Céline, too (labels that share that Hermès minimalism). The New York TimesVanessa Friedman notes, "It seems pretty clear that in choosing Ms. Vanhee-Cybulski, [Axel Dumas, the brand’s chief executive] is sending the message that he is committed to keeping his apparel line at the highest, most discrete end of the luxury market, as opposed to, say, moving toward a more buzzy, Instagram-oriented, sexy-livestream positioning." Friedman later adds, "In other words: craft over costume."

Vanhee-Cybulski succeeds Christophe Lemaire, whose final Hermès collection will walk at Paris Fashion Week on October 1. Following a four-year tenure at the luxury house, "My own label is growing in an important way," he told WWD, "and I now really want and need to dedicate myself to it fully." The Row hasn’t commented on Vanhee-Cybulski’s impending departure. But, we can imagine the response.