Chemena Kamali will take on the role as the new creative director of Chloé, the Maison announced today, stepping in following Gabriela Hearst’s departure from the brand. The appointment didn’t come as too much of a shock to fashion insiders, as Kamali was the rumored choice, thanks in part to her experience working with the brand over the years.
Born in Germany in 1981, the Düsseldorf native and Central Saint Martin’s graduate actually started her career at Chloé, working under Phoebe Philo. Following a brief departure during which she worked at Lanvin, Kamali returned to the Maison to work as the design director to Clare Waight Keller from 2013 to 2016. That year, she left to join Anthony Vaccarello’s team at Saint Laurent as the women’s ready-to-wear design director.
“My heart has always been Chloé’s,” Kamali said in a statement. “It has been since I stepped through its doors more than 20 years ago. Returning feels natural and very personal. I am extremely honoured to be taking on this role and to be building on the vision that Gaby Aghion and Karl Lagerfeld defined early in the Maison’s history. I hope to capture the emotional connection and spirit of Chloé for today.”
Kamali’s appointment is notable, especially when taken in the current context of the fashion industry. Last week, Seán McGirr was announced as Sarah Burton’s replacement at Alexander McQueen, solidifying the trend at Kering of employee solely white, male creative directors. Chloé, meanwhile, has a long history of employing women in their top stop. Aside from Lagerfeld, who played a large role in the early growth and direction of the brand alongside its founder, Gaby Aghion, Chloé has always had a female creative director. The women, including Aghion, Philo, Hearst, and Keller, will be celebrated in the Jewish Museum’s exhibit, “Mood of the Moment: Gaby Aghion and the House of Chloé,” opening on October 13th.
As for Kamali’s debut, we’ll have to wait a little bit. The designer will present her first pre-collection for Chloé in Paris in January 2024, followed by her fall/winter 2024 collection during Paris Fashion Week in February 2024.