Fashion: With Keller, legendary Givenchy taps its first female head
Today Givenchy announced Clare Waight Keller as the brand’s new artistic director, confirming months of industry speculation. Waight Keller will oversee all creative responsibilities at the house, including women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories, as well as haute couture. The appointment is effective May 2.
“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.”
Waight Keller replaces Riccardo Tisci, who left the LVMH-owned brand after his combined Fall 2017 men’s and Spring 2017 haute couture show in January, reportedly for Versace, though that appointment has not been made official.
“I am very happy to have Clare Waight Keller join the LVMH Group,” Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH, said in the same statement. “I believe her widespread expertise and vision will allow Givenchy to enter the next phase of its unique path.”
Formerly the creative director of Chloé, Waight Keller is to be the first woman to lead at Givenchy. Previous designers to hold the role include John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, and Julien Macdonald—all Brits, like Waight Keller herself. With 12 years at the house, Tisci, who is Italian, enjoyed the longest tenure after founder Hubert de Givenchy himself.
“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 Waight Keller. “I look forward to working with the teams and writing a new chapter in this beautiful story.”
Waight Keller’s aesthetic is dissimilar from that of her direct predecessor—bohemian with a sporty side of tomboy, where Tisci’s was provocative and racy. But during her six years at Chloé, she built a vivid world through hit handbags, evocative advertising, a well-cast front row wearing the house’s latest offerings, and lively social feeds.
Her first collection for the brand, for Spring 2018, will be shown in Paris in October.