And so a new era begins at Chloé. Less than a week after the departure of Natacha Ramsay-Levi after four years in office, the French fashion house announced Gabriela Hearst as its new artistic director with immediate effect.
Ms. Hearst, a Uruguayan-born designer of ready-to-wear and accessories for women who founded a luxury label of the same name in 2015, has been widely used for this role in recent months. In just five years, her brand has gained industry-wide respect and recognition for its keen focus on casual elegance, sharp tailoring and using textiles from sustainable sources, albeit at sky-high prices.
Last year, she hosted the industry’s first climate-neutral fashion show in New York and was named American women’s clothing designer of the year at the CFDA Fashion Awards. This September she made her debut presentation at Paris Fashion Week – one of around 20 with a live audience. LVMH Luxury Ventures, an investment arm of the multinational luxury goods group LVMH, took a minority stake in the Gabriela Hearst business in January 2019. The brand had sales of around $ 24 million last year.
In a statement released on Monday announcing the appointment, Chloé said Ms. Hearst will continue to serve as the creative director of her own company, in addition to assuming the position of Artistic Director at Chloé. She will follow in the footsteps of a number of star designers including Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo, all of whom previously held roles on Chloé, which was founded by Gaby Aghion in 1952. The house belongs to the Swiss luxury goods group Richemont, which also owns luxury brands such as Azzedine Alaïa and Cartier and is an arch-rival to LVMH.
“Gabriela is a forward-thinking woman and her creative leadership will be a positive force in advancing and expanding our founder’s original vision of meaningful and powerful femininity,” said Riccardo Bellini, CEO of Chloé. “Her powerful vision of more responsible fashion truly embodies the values and commitment of today’s Chloé women.”
Ms. Hearst, who grew up on her family’s ranch in Uruguay and is a vocal advocate for greater transparency in the luxury supply chain, added that she was excited to work with Mr. Bellini and his “commitment to creating a company that is socially conscious and is in balance with the environment. “
“I am also humble to be able to work with the Chloé team to realize this beautiful vision in a creative and responsible way,” she continued.
Ms. Hearst’s first collection for the house will be presented in March for the fall-winter season 2021. Her appointment is the latest in a string of high-profile designers hired on the world’s most iconic luxury homes this year, following those of Matthew Williams in Givenchy in June and Kim Jones in Fendi in September.