And so a new era begins at Chloé. Less than a week after the departure of Natacha Ramsay-Levi following a four year tenure, the French fashion house announced Gabriela Hearst as its new artistic director, effective immediately.
Ms. Hearst, a Uruguayan-born women’s ready-to-wear and accessories designer who founded a namesake luxury label in 2015, had been widely tipped in recent months for the role. In just five years, her brand has gained respect and recognition across the industry for its honed focus on casual elegance, sharp tailoring and use of sustainably sourced textiles, albeit at sky-high prices.
Last year, in New York, she held the industry’s first carbon-neutral fashion show and was named American women’s wear designer of the year at the CFDA Fashion Awards. This September, she held her debut presentation at Paris Fashion Week — one of around 20 that had a live audience. LVMH Luxury Ventures, an investment arm of the multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, took a minority stake in the Gabriela Hearst business in January 2019; the brand recorded revenues of around $24 million last year.
In a statement published Monday announcing the appointment, Chloé said that Ms. Hearst would continue as creative director at her own business in addition to taking on 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, who have all previously held the role at Chloé, which was founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion. The house is owned by the Swiss luxury goods group Richemont, which also owns luxury brands like Azzedine Alaïa and Cartier and is an archrival of LVMH.
“Gabriela is a forward-thinking woman and her creative leadership will be a positive force in further evolving and expanding our founder’s original vision of meaningful and powerful femininity,” said Riccardo Bellini, Chloé’s chief executive officer. “Her powerful vision of more responsible fashion truly embodies the values and sense of commitment of today’s Chloé women.”
Ms. Hearst, who was raised on her family’s cattle ranch in Uruguay and is a vocal proponent for improved transparency in the luxury supply chain, added that she was excited to work with Mr. Bellini and to support him in his “commitment to create a business that is socially conscious and in balance with the environment.”
“I am also humbled to be able to work with the Chloé team to help execute this beautiful vision in creative and accountable ways,” she continued.
Ms. Hearst’s first collection for the house will be presented in March for the fall winter 2021 season. Her appointment is the latest in a series of high-profile designer hires atop of the world’s best-known luxury houses this year, following those of Matthew Williams at Givenchy in June and Kim Jones at Fendi in September.