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Hermes allies with Gaultier

May 21, 2003|Booth Moore

Hermes, the 165-year-old French luxury goods company known for demure silk scarves and classic handbags, has hired bad-boy designer Jean-Paul Gaultier to revamp its ready-to-wear clothing line. Gaultier will replace minimalist Belgian designer Martin Margiela, who has been at the helm for six years.

Gaultier, 51, the designer who put Madonna in a cone-shaped bra and men in skirts, may seem an odd match for the staid Parisian company, but revamping old brands continues to be the name of the game in the fashion industry. "Jean-Paul is a man of talent, and the idea was to give him a chance, and us a chance, to develop his talent with a new challenge," Hermes Chairman Jean-Louis Dumas told Women's Wear Daily. "We love tradition, but we are not tradition-bound."

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