Clare Waight Keller and Givenchy part ways on Good Friday
Givenchy announced the departure of its British-born creative director in a terse press statement on Friday evening released just before the Easter weekend. The house has not named a successor.
“After three years, the womenswear show held on March 1st 2020 will be Clare Waight Keller’s last collection for Givenchy,” the 68-year-old Paris-based house announced.
The news comes after repeated rumors about the future of Waight Keller at Givenchy, which was acquired by luxury giant LVMH in 1988. Back in early March, just as these were beginning to peak, Givenchy instead changed the house’s president and CEO to Renaud de Lesquen, who succeeded Philippe Fortunato.
“As the first woman to be the artistic director of this legendary maison, I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to cherish its legacy and bring it new life,” said Waight Keller.
“Focusing on a world based on Haute Couture has been one of the highlights of my professional journey. I have shared so many incredible moments with the brilliant Givenchy ateliers and design teams: your exceptional talent and dedication will forever remain in my memories. My heartfelt thanks go out to each of the unsung heroes and heroines behind the scenes, for their contribution from product to communications and retail, and every global team member, partner and supplier in between. Without all of you, I could not have brought my vision for Givenchy to life in such a beautiful way,” added 49-year-old Waight Keller, who succeeded Riccardo Tisci when she joined Givenchy from Chloé in January 2017.
Though a storied house whose successors to founder Hubert de Givenchy have included John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, Givenchy has never really grown to become a major league global fashion marque.
“The House’s new creative organization will be communicated at a later date,” LVMH stressed in its release.
During her tenure, Waight Keller generally received positive reviews for her collections, most notably from the English-speaking press. She also garnered worldwide attention after she created the wedding dress for the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. However, there had been reports from international fashion buyers of lukewarm sales at retail. LVMH does not break out the annual revenues of Givenchy.
“I want to warmly thank Clare Waight Keller for her contribution to Givenchy's latest chapter. Under her creative leadership, and in great collaboration with its ateliers and teams, the maison reconnected with the founding values of Hubert de Givenchy and his innate sense of elegance. I wish Clare all the best in her future endeavors,” said Sidney Toledano, Chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, who oversees Givenchy for the group.
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