Clare Waight Keller is Givenchy’s first female artistic director. It was announced that she would succeed Riccardo Tisci at the house in March 2017. Prior to this appointment she held a creative directorship at Chloé, where she was praised for her easy 1970s-inspired, feminine aesthetic which was a commercial success.
Waight Keller studied for her BA at Ravensbourne College of Art. She gained her Masters in Fashion Knitwear at the Royal College of Art . Calvin Klein hired Waight Keller from university on the strength of her graduate collection. Starting out as a designer for CK Calvin Klein, Waight Keller was soon promoted to designing for the women’s mainline collection. She remained at Calvin Klein for four years before moving to Ralph Lauren to take up the position of head designer of Men’s 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 of Scotland . Waight Keller’s creative directorship would see the designer completely rebrand heritage knitwear label to great critical acclaim.
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 Phoebe Philo was creative director.
In March 2017, Waight Keller was appointed as artistic director of Givenchy. The announcement came a month after Richemont-owned Chloé confirmed the creative director would depart the brand with her final collection being for the house's Autumn/Winter 2017 season. Her artistic directorship encompasses both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories collections; haute couture collections; the brand’s global image; and childrenswear and sunglasses lines. One of her high-profile moves was designing Meghan Markle's dress for her wedding to Prince Harry. The minimalist haute couture gown featured an open bateau neckline, slim three-quarter sleeves and a flowing train cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza.
Waight Keller was honoured with the Scottish Fashion Award for Scottish Cashmere Designer of the Year in 2007; in 2016 she took home the Editor’s Choice of the Year accolade at the Elle Style Awards, while in 2018 she won the British designer of the year womenswear award at the Fashion Awards.