Designer merry-go-round: Gaultier leaves Hermes, Theyskens for Theory and Burton for McQueen

Woman’s Wear Daily has scored three coups in the last 24 hours, the fashion industry news bible were the first to report that former Nina Ricci designer Olivier Theyskens has signed on to design a woman’s capsule collection for American sportswear label Theory. The collection will launch in time for spring-summer 2011.

Meanwhile Jean Paul Gaultier is bidding farewell to Hermes and is set to be replaced by Christophe Lemaire. Gaultier is leaving his after a seven year stint as the artistic director of their women’s ready to wear collection to focus on his own namesake RTW and haute couture brands. His replacement, Lemaire was previously the creative director at Lacoste – it will be interesting to see what he will bring to Hermes after he helped revive Lacoste in recent years. But it has to be said that Hermes is a bigger and far more luxurious than Lacoste so all eyes will be on Lemaire to see if he can step up to the plate.

Finally, after rumors ran rampant that Gareth Pugh was going to be the new creative director of Alexander McQueen, a new creative director has been named for the London-based fashion house – his long time colleague Sarah Burton. It was Burton that finished the fall 2010 collection after Lee McQueen’s suicide and she has been working with the brand for more than a dozen years.