We Already Have Our First Designer Shake-Up Of 2017

Photo: Antonello Trio/Getty Images.
So much fashion industry gossip has revolved around who's leaving where, who's going where, and which luxury house was hiring. At the end of the year, it seemed like most of the dust had settled and, save for a few outliers, most designers had found their new homes just in time for fall '17 (or spring '17, or whatever season we're on in a post "see now, buy now" world). However, this is an industry that thrives on change — and, not even a week into the new year we have our first shake-up of 2017.

Chloé has apparently parted ways with Clare Waight Keller, its creative director since 2011, Reuters reports. Instead of keeping the fashion flock in suspense, the brand seems to have already appointed her successor. Natacha Ramsay-Levi, who's been Nicholas Ghesquière's right hand for over a decade (first at Balenciaga, and most recently at Louis Vuitton) is rumored to lead design at the French fashion house.

If you were hoping for some juicy tidbit or soundbite about this professional split, you'll have to look elsewhere. According to Reuters, Waight Keller's contract was up, and she decided not to renew. Apparently, her family relocated to London, where the designer is from, last summer, so she'd have to commute to Paris for work. Waight Keller reportedly wanted to be a little closer to home. (Before working at Chloé, she was creative director of Pringle of Scotland in the U.K.) The change is expected to happen in March.

Back in December, WWD reported that Chloé was in talks with Ramsay-Levi — and while some sort of move was speculated, no party commented on the matter. This jump will likely have a bigger impact on Louis Vuitton, where she was design director. Ramsay-Levi acted as the main liaison between Ghesquière and the design team, who, according to Reuters, rarely communicate directly.

Hey, rumor has it Ghesquière, too, is on the way out at Louis Vuitton, with his contract with LVMH set to expire and ambitions to pursue his own namesake label coming to late. Who knows — 2017 might have as many surprises and shake-ups as last year.
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