PARIS — Nadège Vanhee, a behind-the-scenes talent with a strong track record at brands including The Row and Céline, is a front-runner to succeed Christophe Lemaire as head of women’s ready-to-wear at Hermès, according to market sources.
Hermès International said earlier this week it was parting ways with Lemaire after a four-year collaboration with the 49-year-old designer, citing his wish to dedicate efforts to his signature label.
It is understood Vanhee started her career at Belgian accessories firm Delvaux and Maison Martin Margiela in Paris, before joining Phoebe Philo at Céline as a senior designer and later The Row as women’s design director.
Neither Vanhee nor Hermès officials could be reached for comment. However, the French luxury house has indicated it could make an announcement regarding its design succession as early as this week.
Lemaire is slated to show his last collection for Hermès in Paris on Oct. 1.
Previous designers of Hermès women’s wear include Jean Paul Gaultier and Martin Margiela.
Before Margiela, Hermès employed a team of designers under women’s fashion director Claude Brouet, previously a fashion and beauty director. In the Nineties, the team included Tan Giudicelli, Marc Audibet, Tomas Maier and Michele and Olivier Chatenet.