Considering her husband’s made-in-America stance, it was a little surprising to see this clearly French name spotlighted in fashion news as the chosen one.
So who is Herve? And what it is about French design that makes it the unwavering choice for so many?
While Hervé has been living in the US for the last 20 years, he is indeed French.
Born and raised in France’s renowned wine region, the Loire Valley, Hervé studied at the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in the eighties. He then landed a job leading haute couture at French fashion house Balmain at the young age of 24. This, before relocating to New York to join the Carolina Herrera fashion house in 1992.
The ex-creative director of Herrera, released a statement to Women’s Wear Daily in which he said “I was actually lucky because over my 20 years in the U.S., I dressed all the first ladies: Mrs. Clinton at Oscar [de la Renta], Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Obama at Carolina Herrera. So I feel lucky and honored to dress Melania Trump, but this time under my name.”
Despite his discreet successes at Carolina Herrera, he quietly left his position as creative director last February, to work under his own name. Like many independent designers, Hervé is now in a position to work with complete artistic control, with the benefit of both his education and the years of experience in a more formal, established and potentially, more commercially-driven environment.
This story mirrors those of so many of the French independent designers we work with, last week we discovered Pei Chen, who is on a smaller scale but similar path benefits from her education at École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and work experience to bring her own brand of beauty to market.
Traditions of Couture
It is the traditions of attention to detail and the deep understanding of how clothes sit on the body, which is ingrained in the French tradition of Haute Couture and studied by all French fashion students that seems to give these designers an edge.
An Especially French Savoir-Faire
Think, Léa Peckre who refined her art at houses such as Givenchy, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Isabel Marant before launching her own label. Her designs are a poetry of contrasts, materials and shapes, fused together using avant-garde techniques. A understated sophistication, that is inevitably French.
Or think, Constance Boutet, who worked at Dior, Louis Vuitton and Celine, to perfect her skills and knowledge before launching her own brand. A brand based on bespoke silk fabric. Constance traveled to China to learn Chinese calligraphy and, hands-on, the process behind this silk production. The combination of minimalist lines, straight-forward pieces-such as a printed blouse, tailored trousers or a gamine dress- and the unique prints, that have become Constance Boutet’s creative signature, means she is sought after on the international market.
And we just have to mention, Floraine Fosso who uses upcycled fabrics from luxury fashion houses to make collections entirely in limited editions in Paris.
She combines creativity with a flair for business. With a career that debuted in American luxury houses, she returned back to her native Paris. A city that remains the capital of creativity and provides inspiration to many talented designers. Check out this Marrakesh tweet strapless. Which uses the same sensual contrast between exposed skin tone and the deep flawlessness of the cream tones, that we see in Hervé’s inauguration dress.
So really is it any surprise that Hervé was selected as the designer of that moment? We think not. French traditions in the understanding of fabrics, structure and draping and a unique respect for women and their bodies, mean French designers have an undeniable edge in today’s international market.
Hervé Pierre's creation: a dress was cut off the shoulder, in vanilla crepe, and featured a full-length gazar arc opening into a deep side slit. A red silk faille ribbon fastened at the waist.
A similar creamy color palette and focus on structure as one of our favourite French up-and-coming designers, Floriane Fosso. In particular her strapless Marrakesh tweet strapless. Which uses the same sensual contrast between exposed skin tone and the deep flawlessness of the cream tones.