jean paul gaultier

Designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. Photo: Getty Images

After seven years as the artistic director of the womenswear collection at the iconic French fashion house Hermès, Jean-Paul Gaultier is stepping down to focus on his own line.

According to Business Week, the 58-year-old designer split from the label amicably and will be replaced by Christophe Lemaire, who has served as artistic director of Lacoste since 2001 and has also worked under Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent and Thierry Mugler.

Gaultier's last collection for Hermès will be presented in October during Paris Fashion Week.

"Hermes is deeply grateful to Jean-Paul Gaultier for his outstanding creative contribution," Hermès said in a statement. And it seems the relationship between the two won't completely disappear.

The Hermès-Gaultier story began in 1999 when the Parisian fashion house bought a 35-percent stake in Gaultier's namesake label for $23 million. Along with Gaultier's exit from Hermès, the company will actually boost their stake in the Jean-Paul Gaultier line to 45-percent.

Fashion fans will get to see Lemaire's first Hermès collection starting with the Fall 2011 collection.

To read more about Gaultier's new home furnishing venture, keep clicking.