London - 2017 has officially seen its first round of Creative Director musical chairs as Clare Waight Keller becomes the first fashion Creative Director to leave her role in 2017. Chloé confirmed the designer's impending departure on Monday, a little over 3 weeks after rumours concerning her exit began to circulate.

Her last collection for the French maison is set to be shown during Paris Fashion Week on March 2, as Waight Keller will officially leave Chloé on March 31. Her exit, which comes after a six year tenure, is said to be the result of a mutual decision between Waight Keller and the Richemont held fashion house. "Clare has been a remarkable partner at Chloé over the past six year," said Chloé president Geoffroy De La Bourdonnaye said in a statement released exclusively to BoF.

Clare Waight Keller to exit role at Chloé

"She helped rejuvenate the legacy of Gaby Aghion, the first ever Chloé girl, by infusing a cool and easy breeze into the Chloé wardrobe, effortlessly mixing graceful and feminine ‘flou’ with a free-wheeling and boyish take on tailoring. Clare has a unique talent in directing a large studio of strong creatives. I would like to personally thank Clare for her loyalty and dedication to Chloé."

Chloé has yet to name a successor to Waight Keller and declined to comment on recent speculation that the role will be filled by Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Louis Vuitton women's artistic director and second-in-command after Nicolas Ghesquière. However, Ramsay-Levi has been highlighted as the most likely candidate to fill the role from within the Richemont umbrella. as her experience creating commercial apparel would be vital to ensure Chloé's ongoing success.

Similar to her predecessors at Chloé- namely Stella MacCartney and Phoeve Philo - Waight Keller rose to fame once she took over the creative mantel at Chloé. Her early success is partly due to her unique talent creating wearable and desirable collections - as well as very coveted shoes and handbags which reflect the essence of Chloe's founder, Gaby Aghion.

"After six extraordinary years at Chloé I would like to thank Geoffroy and all my colleagues for their enormous efforts over the past years," said Waight Keller on her exit in a statement. "Working for this maison has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. Chloé is a brand with values close to my heart and I have truly enjoyed working with some of the best talents in the industry. I feel privileged to have worked for a maison with such a heritage and I am very proud of all that has been achieved.

Born in Birmingham, England, Waight Keller first obtained her BA in Fashion at Ravensbourne College of Art before obtaining her MA in Fashion Knitwear at London's Royal College of Art. After graduation she moved to New York, where she worked in the ateliers of Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren's Purple Label. She returned to the UK in 2001 and went on to serve as head designer at Gucci under Tom Ford, before leaving to revive Pringle of Scotland in 2005.





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