Clare Waight Keller Named First Female Creative Director of Givenchy

A girl gang is forming. Keller is the first woman to design for Givenchy, and the 2nd major female appointment since Maria Grazia Chiuri at Christian Dior. The fan-favorite (and highly-speculated) rumor was that Off-White designer Virgil Abloh would take over and join the LVMH family. Instead, the luxury conglomerate went with the much loved Clare Waight Keller, most recently of Chloé, to take over the house.

The news came in the most modern of ways: Givenchy posted a photograph of the British designer on Instagram with the caption: “Clare Waight Keller. New Artistic Director.” It was then shared with Givenchy’s 7.7 million followers..

Immediately after The New York Times posted an article with the headline, “Is Audrey Hepburn making a return to the house of Givenchy?”  As usual The New York Times hit the nail on the head as everyone tries to predict what Clare Waight Keller has in store for the new artistic direction for the Maison Givenchy.

Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy

With her work at Chloé, Waight Keller has developed one of the most recognizable aesthetics focused on effortless femininity and elegance.  The designer’s most loved looks have included 70s floral prints, dresses with oversized frills and pinafore dresses, alongside her now cult designer tracksuit. Her fans tend to be artistic: Solange Knowles, Isabelle Hupert and Clemence Poesy all attended her last Chloé show.

Clare Waight Keller. New artistic director of Givenchy. Portrait shot by Steven Miesel.

As a designer, Clare Waight Keller, 46, keeps a low-key profile. With her public persona, she is often pictured peeking out from under her long brown hair, hands tucked into trouser pockets. She has seemed content to let her brands, both at Chloé and in her former position as designer of Pringle of Scotland, be the stars.

Chloé Fall/ Winter 2016-17 campaign by former creative director Clare Waight Keller

Philippe Fortunato, chief executive of Givenchy, seemed to suggest a return to the brand’s roots.“I am very excited to see Clare bring her singular sense of elegance and modernity to Givenchy,” he said. “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.”