Chloé’s New Creative Director: Chemena Kamali’s Stylish Return

In the ever-evolving world of fashion, the announcement of a new creative director can send ripples through the industry. This time, those ripples have reached Chloé, the renowned French luxury fashion house, as it welcomes back one of its own. Chemena Kamali, a 41-year-old German designer with a rich history at the brand, is set to take the reins as Chloé's creative director, following the departure of Gabriela Hearst.

In a recent announcement, Chloé, the iconic French luxury fashion house, welcomed Chemena Kamali as its new creative director, succeeding Gabriela Hearst. President and CEO Riccardo Bellini expressed his enthusiasm for Kamali’s appointment, highlighting her exceptional creative talent, extensive experience, and deep connection with the brand’s legacy and values.

At just 41 years old, Chemena Kamali, a native of Düsseldorf, Germany, brings a wealth of experience to her new role. She is no stranger to Chloé, having previously worked at the label in two different periods. Chloé was founded by Gaby Aghion in 1952 as a pioneer in luxury ready-to-wear, challenging the dominance of haute couture houses in the fashion world. The brand’s free-spirited aesthetic was a refreshing departure from the heavily structured designs of contemporaries like Cristobal Balenciaga and Christian Dior.

Kamali embarked on her fashion career at Chloé, where she worked on Phoebe Philo’s team. She further honed her skills by earning a Master’s degree at Central Saint Martins under the mentorship of the renowned Louise Wilson. Afterward, Kamali gained experience at other prestigious fashion houses such as Alberta Ferretti and Strenesse in Milan. Her journey came full circle when she returned to Chloé in 2013, working as the design director under Clare Waight Keller until 2016. Subsequently, she joined Saint Laurent, collaborating closely with creative director Anthony Vaccarello as the women’s ready-to-wear design director.

Kamali’s deep-seated affinity for Chloé is evident in her statement: “My heart has always been Chloé’s. It has been since I stepped through its doors more than 20 years ago. Returning feels natural and very personal.” Her appointment has been the subject of speculation since the summer when her predecessor, Gabriela Hearst, announced her exit.

This transition at Chloé occurs amid discussions in the fashion world regarding diversity and representation. The recent announcement of Seán McGirr replacing Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen has drawn attention to the growing number of white male creative directors at luxury fashion brands in Paris and Milan. Chloé, historically, has had a remarkable legacy of female creative leads, including Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Hannah MacGibbon, Clare Waight Keller, and Natacha Ramsay-Levi before Gabriela Hearst. These trailblazing designers have contributed significantly to the brand’s unique aesthetic, which will be celebrated in the upcoming exhibition, “Mood of the Moment: Gaby Aghion and the House of Chloé,” opening at the Jewish Museum in New York.

Fashion enthusiasts can look forward to Chemena Kamali’s debut collection for Chloé, set to be showcased during pre-fall 2024 in Paris, followed by her runway debut in February. With her unique vision and deep-rooted connection to the brand, Kamali is poised to usher in a new chapter for Chloé, celebrating its timeless DNA while infusing it with fresh creativity and innovation.

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