Chloé names Natacha Ramsay-Levi Creative Director
The appointment of Ramsay-Levi takes effect on April 3, and Ramsay-Levi will present her first collection for the house in September 2017.
Natacha Ramsay-Levi succeeds Clare Waight Keller, who quit Chloé after six successful years helming the house of Chloé, founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion, who grew up in Alexandria, Egypt before moving to France.
“I am very proud to join a house founded by a woman to dress women. I want to create fashion that enhances the personality of the woman who wears it, fashion that creates a character and an attitude, without ever imposing a ‘look’,” said Ramsay-Levi in a release.
Added Chloé President Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye : “I am particularly happy to welcome Natacha to Chloé. Her extensive experience at two prestigious fashion houses and her creative energy will further expand the maison in Gaby’s vision: at the intersection of Parisian couture savoir-faire and the youthful attitude of the Chloé girl.”
Ramsay-Levi joins Chloé from Louis Vuitton where she had been the right hand of woman of that house’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière. Back in 2013, she was named LV’s creative director women’s rtw.
A noted figure in the Paris fashion scene, Ramsay-Levi first began working with Ghesquière in 2002, beginning by making coffee for the studio. She arrived at the beginning of a particularly outstanding creative stretch at that house. She rapidly rose through the ranks, ending up as Ghesquière’s key design deputy.
It had been an open secret in Paris for the past few months that Ramsay-Levi would come to Chloé ever since rumours first began appearing in December. Ramsay-Levi, who has a son by Purple editor-in-chief Olivier Zahm though they are separated, keeps a busy Instagram account. She celebrated her arrival today with an official portrait, and text reading: “I am very honoured and happy to be appointed creative director at @chloe this morning can’t wait to start! I thank everyone who made this possible.” For his part, Ghesquière posted a photo with Ramsay-Levi on Instagram backstage at Tuesday's LV show in the Louvre, praising her as "an inspirational, talented and generous woman and I am truly grateful for that."
Her arrival comes during a period of enormous turnover at major runway fashion houses. Riccardo Tisci left Givenchy in January; Emanuel Ungaro has just dismissed Fausto Puglisi and replaced him with Marco Colagrossi; while new creative directors have all been appointed in the past year at the following houses: Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Brioni, Lanvin, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Berluti, Ermenegildo Zegna and Bally.
The arrival of Ramsay-Levi means seven of Chloé’s official creative directors, including Aghion, have been women: joining Martine Sitbon, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Hannah MacGibbon and Waight Keller. Historically, Chloé has always attracted young designers who went on to become design stars; from Karl Lagerfeld back in the Sixties to McCartney, who took over the reins of the house aged just 25.
Chloé, for many minds, is probably the ultimate in off-beat Parisienne élan. Its first shows were in Café Flore and Brasserie Lipp; its name borrowed from a chic Parisienne; its early style an expression of France joyously shaking off the post-war blues. Even if most of its designers were not French, Chloé invented modern, French luxury pret-a-porter.
Since 1995, Chloé has been owned by the Richemont luxury group. Though it has always been an odd fit – being the only fashion house other than Azzedine Alaia in the South African-owned conglomerate, whose main interests are in jewellery and watches. Richemont’s stable of brands includes the like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC, Officine Panerai, Alfred Dunhill, gun-maker Purdey, Shanghai Tang and the largest single stake in Yoox Net-a-Porter.
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