News broke last night as a surprise that Clare Waight Keller– who just concluded her last collection for Chloé as creative director during autumn-winter 2017 Paris Fashion Week – is assuming her new role as artistic director for Givenchy’s women’s and men’s collection, accessories and couture. Waight Keller officially begins work on May 2 and will present her first collection for the maison during Paris Fashion Week spring-summer 2018 collection in October.
Critics and cynics might question whether Waight Keller’s ever feminine, subtly luxurious aesthetics would be an ill fit for Givenchy as Riccardo Tisci has left it – edgy and sometimes racy, definitely driving social media frenzy for its Kardashian-clan followings. We’ve got five and more reasons to be hopeful for a new chapter.
Eyes on Heritage:
Both Givenchy and Chloé were founded in 1952. The essence of Parisian chic is in the DNA of both luxury maisons. Givenchy’s muse Audrey Hepburn’s effortlessly chic style would echo perfectly with Waight Keller’s design language.
Givenchy’s CEO Philippe Fortunato said in a statement: “I am very excited to see Clare bring her singular sense of elegance and modernity to Givenchy. By exploring our maison’s 65-year heritage and the outstanding savoir faire of our ateliers, I am convinced Clare will help Givenchy reach its full potential.”
Social Media Drive:
Despite the positioning, both Givenchy and Chloé has stellar front rowers and are both savvy to tap digital influencers. While Tisci’s Givenchy appeal to pop-culture idols, Chloé speaks to Bohemian romanticists the likes of Clémence Poésy and Solange Knowles.
Many have doubts about Waight Keller’s new role at Givenchy because of her lack of experience with menswear during her six-year tenure at Chloé. She has actually been in charge of menswear at Pringle before joining Chloé. She has also worked at Calvin Klein and Gucci with Tom Ford – both brands have a menswear division.
Waight Keller will be the first female artistic director of Givenchy since it was founded by Hubert de Givenchy, which again brings attention to the growing female designers at heritage luxury maisons. Christian Dior last year also announced Maria Grazia Chiuri as the house’s first female creative director. Both brands are owned by the LVMH group.
“Hubert de Givenchy’s confident style has always been an inspiration and I am very grateful for
the opportunity to be a part of this legendary house’s history,” Waight Keller said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the teams and writing a new chapter in this beautiful story.”
Waight Keller’s creative virtue has brought in lucrative business for Chloé’s accessories and ready-to-wear. Her knack for creating modern and feminine bags and shoes with a hint of tomboyishness could bring good news for Givenchy.