After months of speculation, Chloe said her creative director, Gabriela Hearst, would be leaving the French fashion house after a three-year stint.
A statement released on Thursday confirmed that the womenswear collection, scheduled to be shown on September 28 during Paris Fashion Week, will be her last for the brand.
Why it matters: Chloe was vying to become a beacon of sustainable fashion
Ms. Hearst, a Uruguayan-born women’s ready-to-wear and accessories designer, founded her namesake luxury label in New York in 2015 before joining Chloe in December 2020. Chloe is one of the few fashion houses owned by luxury goods group Richemont, which has historically focused Her primary aspirations are to grow on her jewelry brands like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, but she’s recently invested in her own fashion labels, which include Alaïa.
To many observers, the combination of Mrs. Hurst and Chloe seemed like a smart match. The designer has long been a champion for improving transparency and sustainability standards in the industry. And in 2021, Chloe announced that it was the first luxury fashion house to achieve a B Corp certification, which ranks how the company tries to work for the social good as well as trying to make money. The world’s richest shoppers seem to be getting a taste for ethical fashion at bargain prices. The Nama sneaker in recycled suede and mesh has been a bestseller, and according to its CEO, Riccardo Bellini, the brand has seen sales increase by 60 percent in the past two years.
But rumors throughout 2023 indicated that Ms. Hearst and Chloe might break up, in part due to the pressures placed on the designer by her transatlantic schedule. Throughout her tenure, Ms. Hearst continued to run her business in New York while leading the Chloé Design Studio in Paris.
Background: An industry-wide designer revolution
Ms. Hearst’s exit follows the departures of several iconic directors at all stages of their careers: Jeremy Scott from Moschino, Tom Ford from Tom Ford, Ruigi Villasenor from Bally and Ludovic de Saint-Sernin from Anne Demolmeester.
Most exits have their own triggers. But collectively they underscore the accelerating turnaround among creative directors at fashion brands, executives impatient for star-studded sales growth squeezing overly ambitious design and production schedules and for the eternally fickle consumer.
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in June, There have been reports that Chimina Kamali, director of women’s design at Saint Laurent and most recently a creative advisor on the contemporary frame line, has been named as Ms. Hearst’s successor. According to reports, Ms. Kamali — who also worked for a while at Chloé under Clare Waight Keller — was already running a parallel studio at Chloé as part of her preparations to take on the role.
Chloe declined to comment on when a successor to Mrs. Hearst would be announced.
“It has been an incredible honor to share my creative vision and add my voice to Chloe’s story,” Ms Hurst said in a statement on Thursday. “I am grateful to be part of the amazing team that has laid strong foundations for the purpose-driven future of fashion.”
It remains to be seen if the house will maintain its recent costly investment to lead the industry in responsible fashion design, production and sale – or take a new direction.