Hermès Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear: Born to Be Wild and Rich

With an all-day soaker in Paris on Saturday, Hermès didn’t much need to make it rain inside for the runway show.

But it did make for a photogenic backdrop for the collection inspired by riding — both horses and motorbikes — even if it wasn’t quite the noirish wet asphalt of Hollywood movies, but rather a rainfall that went through grates at the center of the runway.

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So which lane does creative director Nadège Vanhee prefer?

“I go more for the bike,” she said backstage, a family affair where Hermès executive chairman Axel Dumas stopped by to say hi, and the designer gave her five-year-old daughter a kiss before she sat down to experience her first show.

“The idea was to think about riding from traditional to sharp and rebellious,” said Vanhee.

In other words, take the horsey house codes on a wild ride for the next gen Hermès customer who might keep her own horses, but also wouldn’t hesitate to throw her Birkin on the back of a Harley and hit the road.

While the collections might not change that much, Vanhee deserves credit for transforming the house’s fashion offering into something younger and more desirable. In that regard this collection was another winning lap.

She zeroed in on several key silhouettes, including a perfecto riding jacket cut with laser-like precision, anchored to the waist with a wide leather belt hidden inside and no other exterior fastenings. It had a great shape, looked sophisticated in brown pinstripes over a matching pencil skirt, or in russet leather over ribbed leggings.

In a season when just about every designer has had leather on the runway, Hermès is still in a league of its own in terms of quality, and there was a leather look for every fancy, from a chic fur-trimmed brown leather pea coat worn with matching trousers and cowboy boots (Hermès cowboy boots!), to a snug and subtly silver studded black biker jacket and tight leather pants.

Vanhee has been strengthening Hermès’ knitwear with a lot of sex appeal, and continued to do so here with cropped ribbed cashmere sweaters over high-waist corduroy jodhpurs, bateau styles with studded leather harness details, shrunken bomber jackets and sculpting leggings made of a tight rib she likened to that of athletic socks.

Dresses always seem a bit like an afterthought at Hermès, and this season’s were even more muted in subtle silk scarf prints or jacquards shaped by smocking. But they did really show off the shiny new must-have boot, a tall equestrian style that unzips to transform into a looser shaft biker style. A twofer.

Quiet luxury is no trend for Hermès, but Vanhee manages to change things up enough season to season, to keep the brand’s fashion engine humming.

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Launch Gallery: Hermès Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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