Véronique Nichanian for Hermes Mens - Page 2 - the Fashion Spot
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Mr. Magic
Join Date: Oct 2008
Gender: homme
Posts: 103,382

There is obviously a very high price associated with quality, and the Hermès price is quite expensive. Do you feel a need to justify that?
I used to say that it’s not expensive but it’s costly. For me, it is a big difference. Many brands choose a €20 or €30 cashmere, but at the end, they arrive at a price that is incredibly high. I feel comfortable with [my] idea. I’m not born from a fantastic rich family. I know what costly means. When I design for Hermès, I can buy and play with the most incredible fabrics. I want the best and I want the best to stand a long time.

Do you have any interest in the other side of the market—the inexpensive end, the fast-fashion end?
Yes, I love to go to H&M, to buy T-shirts and things that I can use for a summer and then throw away. I think this is very right, and I like to play and mix the things together. For me, this is modern, too.

But I suspect there won’t be an Hermès for H&M collection.
No, this is not the point. We are talking about myself. This is the modern way to live. If something is right, it could be Hermès, but if it’s right at H&M…the problem is, after two weeks, it’s over, but for two weeks, it was good.

How much interaction do you want or need with your customers? Or is it more that you’re proposing something and allowing them to customize, to make it their own?
I added a few years ago the services of bespoke, because at Hermès we are doing the most beautiful things we can imagine, but I like the idea of men dreaming of a beautiful coat he’s never found, or the sweater that he wanted to have in incredible colors. I’ve done that for actors and a few VIPs. I want to do that for men who have the money to realize their dream.

Have you had any outrageous dreams brought to your door?
In my life, I’ve [only] refused two orders. One man, he wanted me to do half a jacket. I said, half a jacket? I’m sorry, I don’t know about that. He wanted to have one side a jacket, the other side, avec des bretelles—braces. I said, I’m sorry. The other was a man who wanted to have a mink pink coat. I said, I’m sorry, too—I think you’ve picked the wrong door. Try somebody else.

And yet when I think of your runway shows, some of my favorite pieces are the unexpected ones, the outrageous ones. A few seasons ago, there were amazing leather motorcycle jumpsuits near the end of the show (left). They felt like a cold shower.
It was not so special, no?

I thought so. Did you sell many?
Not a lot, but a few.

They put me in mind of fetish objects. And that idea of fetish is, I think, very alive on the women’s side of the Hermès business—the way that women feel about the Birkin or the Kelly. They’re bags that are more than just bags. I’m wondering if you create any other equivalents on the men’s side.
That was exactly my work when I started at Hermès, as I explained to [former Hermès chairman] Jean-Louis Dumas. I wanted to make something a bit more like an object. My mother and my sister used to have a Birkin, or a Kelly, or the scarves—I wanted to design something that could stand like these things. That’s why I consider each piece like an object. For one man, it could be the leather blouson, for another it could be a sweater…

Do you wear the men’s collection yourself?
I do, yes.

You’ve mentioned your father a few times. How did he dress?
He was a very chic man. He was a very elegant man, in the old way, but he was not a fashion man.

But it sounds like he has influenced you very much.
Well, I can talk about my mom, too, if you want.

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Mr. Magic
Join Date: Oct 2008
Gender: homme
Posts: 103,382
The menswear designer at Hermès on the myth of French style, avoiding trends, and why you can never have too much cashmere.

The right proportion and fit are a matter of centimeters—millimeters, really. When you choose clothes that are perfect for you, you feel strong, comfortable, and more self-confident.
Style is a question of charm, not nationality. It’s not true that French men have more allure or style than American men. It’s just that they dress with more personality. They don’t follow dress codes, and sometimes they mix things in a way they shouldn’t. Like how Serge Gainsbourg dressed, with his reptile shoes with jeans and blazer and white shirt—that’s charm.
For a weekend away, a man should bring a simple shirt, two cashmere sweaters, three polos, and one pair of jeans. For shoes, either sandals or light leather moccasins—just the essentials.
In relationships, you must show proof of love and do something passionate. I once had a boyfriend fly from New York to Paris just to have dinner with me. It was very smart.
Age is not important. A man, no matter if he’s 20 or 60, can wear a tee and jeans if he has the right body.
You should have one watch for the weekend, one for the week, one for suits, one for sport. I love watches. Watches are for men what perfume is for women. They are very personal, and you can wear them according to your mood.
Wearing a scarf is about attitude. A man should just wrap one around his neck, maybe two times—but not tightly like women do. It should be nonchalant.
Men make a mistake when they follow fashion instead of their own personality or their own body. When they dress in a very slim shape even if they don’t have the right body, it’s all wrong. It’s awful. With my husband, I tell him, ‘Stay yourself and I’ll take care of you.’ He’s the most spoiled man in Paris.
You can never have too many cashmere sweaters. There are so many kinds of fits and colors. You should have a lightweight one for summer and a heavier one for winter. Whether you wear darker colors like navy or brighter ones like green or yellow can depend on the way you wake up.
The most timeless article of clothing a man can have is a leather piece. An Hermès leather bomber.
2012 was a tough year for fashion designers. Some of the biggest brands in the business — including juggernauts like Yves Saint Laurent, Jil Sander, and Perry Ellis — found their top creative position changing hands. But not so at Hermès, where Véronique Nichanian has overseen men's-wear for the past 21 years. And for good reason. Under her guidance, the French house has greatly expanded its portfolio of luxuriously restrained apparel and accessories for men, so much so that Hermès opened its first men's-only flagship two years ago in NYC and recently announced the launch of a new custom clothing service. Safe to say: Nichanian knows her stuff. So, we caught up with the designer to talk about the state of the industry, the Hermès made-to-measure program, and what she's learned about the male psyche.

Esquire.com: How has the customer changed since you began your career at Hermès?
Véronique Nichanian: Today, men are more and more confident and dare to express themselves with their clothing. I've learned that men have to be in harmony with themselves to choose their style. It's really about personality.

ESQ: What's the biggest misconception that men have about dressing themselves?
VN: When people think they have to follow trends, or fashion in general. They have to free themselves from any fashion dictate.

What are the three items every man should have in his closet?
VN: A black cashmere sweater, a gray flannel suit, and a white poplin shirt. But a fourth would be an amazing leather piece — like a jacket, for instance.

Tell us a little bit about the Hermès made-to-measure and bespoke programs.
VN: Customers can come and speak with a tailor about the fit they like. Then the customer will be able to choose from 5,000 fabrics and have a suit made to their individual specifications. It takes 30 measurements and 70 to 80 hours of work in the atelier to have a suit made. What's special about Hermès, though, is that you can also ask for custom leather and knit pieces, too. We can even create something in a specific color at a customer's request.

How do you, as a woman, approach designing for men?
VN: Being a man or a woman isn't the point. It really depends on one's own personality and sensitivity. After all, we speak the same language and live the same way. I mean, would you ask this of all these men that design for women ?

What advice do you have for men today, in terms of dressing?
VN: Trust yourself... and be smart and charming.

And finally: your thoughts on the future of men's-wear?
VN: I think that there's is a lot to be done, still.

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eugenius's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boston
Gender: homme
Posts: 2,680
"like croco chiffon that transforms matte crocodile into a soft fabric suitable for a shirt or T-shirt"

Sounds like this. A tshirt for the summer made of croc (if I'm reading the description correctly)? I can't even begin to imagin how that must feel against the skin..or how much it costs

(src: style.com)

Last edited by eugenius; 20-03-2013 at 08:16 PM.
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GIVENCHYlover's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Kate's Bedroom
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Love her!

Freja, Sean, Diaconu, Clément
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kasper!'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Gender: homme
Posts: 4,609
Originally Posted by eugenius View Post
"like croco chiffon that transforms matte crocodile into a soft fabric suitable for a shirt or T-shirt"

Sounds like this. A tshirt for the summer made of croc (if I'm reading the description correctly)? I can't even begin to imagin how that must feel against the skin..or how much it costs

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kasper!'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Gender: homme
Posts: 4,609
There is a long feature about her in Esquire The Big Black Book 2015 F/W. I will try to find digital version scan for your fans ASAP..

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