Lemaire took over from Jean-Paul Gaultier as the brand's
artistic director of womenswear in 2010, and his collections
were increasingly gaining praise from fashion critics and
enjoying growing demand from buyers.
It was not yet clear on Monday who would replace Lemaire but
some analysts said it was not a concern.
"Hermes has got strong heritage and an image of timeless
elegance that is quite independent from the designer," said
Bernstein luxury goods analyst Mario Ortelli.
Hermes, built into a successful global brand by family
descendent Jean-Louis Dumas who died in 2010, said Lemaire would
leave after presenting his last collection at Paris Fashion Week
"My own label is growing in an important way and I now really
want and need to dedicate myself to it fully," Christophe
Lemaire said in a joint statement with Hermes.
The company's chief executive officer Axel Dumas said he was
grateful to Lemaire, adding: "Under his artistic direction the
métier has renewed its aesthetic and produced very satisfactory
financial results. I wish him the greatest success with his own
label which is so close to his heart".
Lemaire is the latest designer to leave a big brand to focus on
developing his own label. Last year, Marc Jacobs left the
artistic direction of LVMH's Louis Vuitton to spend more time on
his own fast-growing fashion business he is aiming to float in
New York in the near to medium term.
In 2003, Martin Margiela quit as Hermes's womenswear designer to
focus on developing his own label after having selling its
control to Only the Brave, the group behind the Diesel jeans
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Andrew Callus and
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