Clare Waight Keller was named creative director of Chloé in May 2011, replacing Hannah MacGibbon. Her romantic yet mature designs manage to be true to the house’s codes whilst remaining current, and have brought a new sense of vitality to the Parisian house, not seen since Pheobe Philo was creative director.
Waight Keller studied for her BA at Ravensbourne College of Art. She gained her Masters in Fashion Kintwear at the Royal College of Art. Calvin Klein hired Waight Keller from university on the strength of her graduate collection. Waight Keller worked in New York for Calvin Klein for four years before moving to Ralph Lauren to become senior menswear designer for its Purple Label.
She was tapped by Tom Ford to work at Gucci alongside Christopher Bailey and Francisco Costa as a senior designer in 2000, where she would remain until being appointed creative director of Pringle Scotland. Waight Keller’s creative directorship would see the designer completely rebrand Pringle, a heritage knitwear label, to great critical acclaim.
Waight Keller’s time at Pringle was what impressed Geoffrey de la Bourdonnaye, Chloé’s CEO, and inspired him to hire her. ”She displayed both creative and managerial maturity,” he explained.
Waight Keller’s success stems from her deep appreciation of what makes the Chloé brand resonate with its buyers, saying, “I love the fact that [Chloé] was started by a woman, and I love the fact that it speaks to women, it’s not a conceptual brand. It’s much more sensitive. It’s intuitive to women.”