Chatter of Hannah MacGibbon’s departure from Chloe has built since the beloved fashion house’s Fall showing. Die-hard Chloe fans are still swooning over the fashion house’s stellar Spring 2011 collection, but rumors of MacGibbon’s replacement ran rampant. It seems we now have an answer as the French label has announced that MacGibbon is leaving and her replacement is English designer Clare Waight Keller.
In March of this year, Waight Keller announced that she would be leaving Pringle of Scotland to work on "personal projects." The announcement came as a shock to Pringle fans as the designer had been given free reign to revitalize the brand in 2006 and most credit her with building the brand’s increased market share and industry buzz. Keller got her start in knitwear and after finishing her studies, she went on to work for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. As impressive as her work with Lauren’s Purple Label was, it was her work alongside Christopher Bailey and Francisco Costa under Tom Ford at Gucci that garnered her the most recognition.
MacGibbon was often praised for her knowledge of the Chloe brand, after all, she was with the brand for more than 10 years, but some doubted her ability to bring the effortless wow factor that the brand’s followers demand. After the abrupt exit of Paulo Melim Anderson in 2008, MacGibbon scrambled to take the reins and critics were unsure whether the designer, who had worked alongside Phoebe Philo for years, was up to working at the helm of one of France’s most beloved luxury labels. Where Waight Keller will hopefully succeed is in attracting the masses to Chloe rather than just the brand’s already loyal followers, but we'll all have to wait until September to see if she's up to the challenge.
Photo: Vincenzo Grillo for IMAXtree