Nadége Vanhee-Cybulski invents haute leather workwear for Spring/Summer 2020.

Nadége Vanhee-Cybulski once defined Hermès as “classicism as a modern way of seeing life.” This philosophy drives Vanhee-Cybulski’s deliberate indifference towards fickle trends and defines the classic haute modernism that was her latest and most succinct collection since she has taken the helm at the brand. The SS20 collection was a new take on tradition—apron silhouettes were a nod not only to the craftsmen and women who work for the company but the Parisian artisan, and utilitarian and workwear sensibilities narrated throughout. Despite Hermès being the apex of luxury leather goods, the silhouettes for this collection all felt breathable and functional—a testament to Vanhee-Cybulski’s knack for refined tailoring seamlessly succeeding Christophe Lemaire.

The collection featured minimal leather shell tops paired over-relaxed fit pants, suede two-piece suits detailed in the brand’s classic metalwork and saddle-stitching, and, most impressively, a techno-fabric reminiscent mesh that Vanhee-Cybulski developed herself. The mesh was incorporated into various looks, effortlessly balancing the heavier materiality and thematic work elements. Vanhee-Cybulski’s history at Celine and Helmut Lang shine through this season, where she masterfully embodied modern minimalism while remaining grounded in the heritage essential to the identities of brands like Hermès, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. The two ideologies, when employed by designers like Nadége Vanhee-Cybulski, feel natural and symbiotic, producing a collection that simultaneously pays homage to long-standing practices and propels the brand forward, recontextualizing those very traditions.