Riccardo Tisci's departure from Givenchy, where he spent 12 years as creative director and designed many-a memorable Kardashian outfit, marked the end of an era. As soon as the news broke, the speculation (of course) began as to who would replace him. The fan-favorite (and highly-speculated) rumor was that Off-White designer Virgil Abloh would take over and join the LVMH family. Instead, the luxury conglomerate went with a seasoned player of the Paris Fashion Week lineup: Clare Waight Keller, most recently of Chloé, is set to take over the house, Business of Fashion reports.
The brand broke the news in a pretty straightforward manner, with a portrait of Waight Keller, captioned, "2017. CLARE WAIGHT KELLER. NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. SHOT BY STEVEN MEISEL." The designer, meanwhile, simply changed her bio on Instagram.
Waight Keller will be the second female designer to take the helm at a LVMH-owned couture house (Maria Grazia Chiuri being the first, at Dior), according to BoF. While she has stints at Calvin Klein, Gucci, and Pringle of Scotland on her résumé, this'll be her first time designing haute couture.
Propensity for ruffles aside, it's an interesting choice for Givenchy, given the differences in Tisci and Waight Keller's design records. The former is rumored to be going back to his Italian roots at Versace, a fitting place for his penchant for sensual, form-fitting silhouettes, while the latter's ready-to-wear has been most frequently characterized by its ease and wearability. Their circle of celebrity muses is quite different, too: The front row at Chloé tends to be filled with French and American actresses, directors, and overall creative types (think Clémence Poésy, Loulou Robert, Solange Knowles), rather than the mega-watt names Givenchy attracted during Tisci's time, like many members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Naomi Campbell, and, most recently, Paris Jackson. It'll be interesting to see how these two circles come together in the new age of Givenchy — and where Waight Keller takes the house next.