Just a mere ten days after Gabriela Hearst unveiled her final collection for Chloé at Paris Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2024, the heralded arrival of Chemena Kamali is confirmed, marking the beginning of a new chapter in Chloé’s journey.
Kamali, with a history interwoven with the elegant threads of Chloé’s legacy, is no stranger to the iconic brand. Having earlier honed her craft under the esteemed leadership of both Phoebe Philo and Clare Waight Keller, she makes her return, carrying a treasure trove of experience and an innate understanding of Chloé’s distinguished identity.
This announcement coincides with the rekindled discourse on the prominence of male designers in a field prominently influenced by and catered to women, and the notable absence of racial diversity in significant roles within the fashion industry.
Kamali states with heartfelt emotion, “My heart has always been Chloé’s. It has been since I stepped through its doors more than 20 years ago. Returning feels natural and very personal. I am extremely honored 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.” Such poignant words mirror the deep, intrinsic bond Kamali shares with the house, echoing an intimate, almost familial connection.
This celebrated appointment was unveiled to the world not long after another prominent fashion house, Alexander McQueen, announced the succession of Seán McGirr to the esteemed role of Creative director, following in the distinguished footsteps of Sarah Burton. Kamali and McGirr are both esteemed alumni of Central Saint Martins, where the late professor Louise Wilson played a pivotal role in nurturing their prodigious talents.
Chloé, a name that resonates with elegance and sophistication, continues to command respect in the dynamic landscape of fashion. Riccardo Bellini, the esteemed president and CEO, showers praise upon Kamali, lauding her as possessing “extraordinary creative talent,” and heralding her return as a reunion with the brand’s legacy and values.
Born in Germany in 1981, Kamali’s journey began in the halls of Trier University of Applied Sciences. Her odyssey took flight at Central Saint Martins and in 2007, she initiated her professional journey with Chloé, joining Phoebe Philo’s team.
Her sojourn into the realms of Alberta Ferretti and Strenesse, and a notable tenure as Saint Laurent’s women’s ready-to-wear design director under Anthony Vaccarello, enriched her repertoire. Now, as she makes her triumphant return to Chloé, the fashion world anticipates with bated breath, the infusion of her creative spirit into the brand’s storied legacy.
Philippe Fortunato, CEO of Richemont’s fashion and accessories division, expresses his elation at Kamali’s return, heralding it as an exhilarating new epoch for the maison, inspired by her profound affinity for Chloé’s heritage.
Since its inception in 1952 by Aghion and its acquisition by the Swiss luxury consortium Richemont in 1988, Chloé has solidified its stance as a pivotal French fashion icon, sharing the limelight with peers like Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior. The brand’s design legacy is enriched by contributions from notable figures like Karl Lagerfeld, Phoebe Philo, Clare Waight Keller, Martine Sitbon, Stella McCartney, Paulo Melim Andersson, Hannah MacGibbon, Natacha Ramsay-Levi and Gabriela Hearst.
Recently, the trend in the fashion enclave leans towards elevating internal talents or second-in-command figures, exemplified by Matthieu Blazy’s ascension at Bottega Veneta and Virginie Viard’s appointment at Chanel post-Lagerfeld era.
Chemena Kamali is set to present her Pre-Fall 2024 collection this coming January and will make her runway debut with the Fall/Winter 2024 collection at Paris Fashion Week the following month.