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Jean-Paul Gaultier leaves Hermès

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After seven years, the enfant terrible of French fashion, Jean-Paul Gaultier is stepping down as artistic director of women’s ready-to-wear for Hermès. During his time at the distinguished luxury fashion house, Gaultier earned rave reviews from the fashion world and his successor, under-the-radar Christian Lemaire, who is the current creative director of Lacoste, will have the daunting task of having some very big shoes to fill.

The luxury group will remain a major stakeholder of Gaultier’s fashion house (45%). “Hermès is deeply grateful to Jean-Paul Gaultier for his outstanding creative contribution during these past seven years,” read the official press statement.

Gaultier’s spring-summer 2011 collection, to be presented in October, will be his last for the French high fashion house. Over to you Monsieur Lemaire.