Former design director for The Row, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, has quietly been making her mark since joining Hermès in 2014. The key word there is quiet. The 36-year-old previously worked under Phoebe Philo at Céline and started her career at Maison Martin Margiela, before landing at The Row and then Hermès. She comes with a solid resume and a controversy-free past (much like Christophe Lemaire, her predecessor), which is becoming difficult to come by these days in fashion. And much like her, Vanhee-Cybulski’s designs are quiet and confident. Not tricks or marketing ploys here. Just real garments - some of which are absolute home-runs, others amount to less covetable works-still-in-progress.
While super-high in quality and super-high in appeal, Vanhee-Cybulski’s designs do not scream. They are not outrageous in color or heavy with pop-art prints. That’s best left to Jeremy Scott and brands that need to sell iPhone cases and printed sweaters. No, there is something arguably more powerful, or better yet, sustainable, to the Hermès approach under Vanhee-Cybulski. One that is based on quality and construction, one that is so squarely at odds with the arguably unfortunate direction that fashion is taking in modern years. Just ask Phoebe Philo how that is working for Céline. Or actually, you don't have to ask. Take a look around the market, and you will see the enormous influence all on your own.