Gaultier tapped to create ready-to-wear for Hermès
French luxury goods house Hermès, famed for its discreet leather handbags and flamboyant scarves, has hired irreverent, openly gay French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier to design its female ready-to-wear lines. Gaultier's arrival will have no impact on his role at his own design house, in which Hermès has a 35% stake, the company said in a brief statement.
Gaultier has been anointed by the fashion world as the successor to fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent, who retired early last year. He takes over after Hermès's six-year contract came to an end with edgy Belgian designer Martin Margiela. Gaultier, famed for his playful multiethnic designs, will create his first pret-a-porter collection for Hermès for the 2004 autumn-winter season, the company added.