5 Smart-Casual Wardrobe Updates From Hermès SS21 Menswear

Hermès menswear artistic director Véronique Nichanian brings practical drama to SS21 with her new collection.

5 Smart-Casual Wardrobe Updates From Hermès SS21 Menswear
Image: Raffard Roussel

For Véronique Nichanian, artistic director of Hermès menswear, SS21 is one collection created with the “new wisdom, and a new momentum” she drew from the Covid-19 pandemic. “Recent events and their damaging effects on the fashion world have not gotten me down,” she shares. “I have always believed it takes time to create clothes that last, that age well, that are more than merely functional and for which we feel real affection.”   

Favouring subtlety over extravagance, with a knack for tailored and smartly cut suits, Nichanian worked with visual artist Cyril Teste to present Hermès SS21 through Hors-Champ, a live performance that transports audiences backstage and look in on the models waiting for their turn in the spotlight.

“I like change! I seek renewal in my work, constantly, and even if change is often for me as panic-inducing as it is stimulating. I prefer anxiety to repetition. Creativity feeds on the unexpected,” she says.

Here, our 5-point guide to Hermès SS21 menswear collection.     

The Mood: Carefree

Put a spring in your step with pieces to make you feel confident and comfortable. Crafted with fabrics that are fresh and light – cotton, linen, cashmere and silk feature – Hermès SS21 plays up the notions of lightness and simplicity with roomy blouson-style shirts, boat-necked pullovers and elastic-waisted trousers.   

The Silhouette: Lean & Clean

Suits are this season’s smart-casual staples. Hermès SS21 is filled with slim-cut ensembles comprising single-breasted jackets and one-pleat trousers – and wide collarless shirts or tank tops to match. Nichanian further perked up her oh-so easy-to-wear creations with fun details such as removable collars, patch pockets and double sleeves.  

The Pattern: Stripes

Never mind that stripes began during the Middle Ages as the uniform of social outcasts such as court jesters and criminals. These days, stripes, according to fashion psychologists, indicate the ability to multi-task and thrive under pressure – traits especially crucial during crises like the one our world is facing. Whether inlaid in double-front jackets, one-pleat trousers or hooded sweatshirts, stripes injected favourite classics instantly with a fresh perspective.      

The Palette: Blue, Green & Grey

Nichanian alludes to our desire for summer vacays in the Mediterranean with hues drawn from nature, including storm blue, almond green, a smattering of gravelly tones – and if the occasion requires – fluorescent green or yellow.   

The Finishing Touch: Sandals    

Made of calfskin in colours ranging from safari natural to chocolate and black, sandals lend a sober note to clothes that are unapologetically nonchalant in spirit.

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