Givenchy has announced Clare Waight Keller as the brand’s new artistic director. Waight Keller will manage all creative responsibilities at the house, including women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories, as well as haute couture.
Formerly the creative director of Chloe, Keller is the first female designer to lead Givenchy. The founder’s successors of Givenchy were John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Julien Macdonald. Keller is also the second female designer to be the top artistic director of ma major LVMH couture house, after Maria Grazia Chiuri was made artistic director at Dior last year.
“The teams join me in warmly welcoming Clare Waight Keller into the Givenchy family,” said Philippe Fortunato, CEO of Givenchy, 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 its ateliers, I am convinced Clare will help Givenchy reach its full potential.”
Contrasting to Riccardo Tisci’s signature gothic aesthetic, Waight Keller is known for her calm, friendly, and open style and interest in the arts. Keller’s success at Chloé was rooted in her ability to deliver wearable, desirable garments. Her talent for accessories such as shoes and handbags will be particularly welcome at Givenchy, which has not delivered a hit bag since the ‘Nightingale’, and her new role as head artistic director will see her return to designing menswear as well as womenswear.
Although she has no experience in haute couture, Keller will likely be drawn to the rich heritage of the house, which was founded by Hubert de Givenchy in 1952 and became known for it’s elegant couture favoured by Audrey Hepburn, Wallis Simpson and Jackie Kennedy.
“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,” said Keller. “I look forward to working with the teams and writing a new chapter in this beautiful story.”
Keller will present her first collection for Givenchy in October in Paris, for Spring/Summer 2018.