Let's take a look back at all the female fashion designers who have worked at Chloé.
Revolutionary: Gaby Agyen
Born in Egypt, Gabi Agyen moved to Paris in 1945 with her husband, Raymond Agyen. The couple, who had met while still in elementary school, became enamored with communist ideals. In Paris, they mingled with poets such as Paul Éluard, Tristan Tzara, Louis Aragon, and Pablo Picasso. Seven years later, Agyen launched a fashion brand and named it after her friend Chloe Heismans. She positioned the clothes she created as everyday outfits for her affluent friends who didn't have time for couture dresses. Her collections featured soft and flowing fabrics, shirt dresses, blouses, and elegant silhouettes, giving birth to the term "prêt-à-porter" and the fashion we know today. The first Chloé show took place in 1956 at the famous Café de Flore on rue Saint-Germain. It was Agyen who hired Karl Lagerfeld as the brand's creative director in the mid-60s, and Lagerfeld led the brand until 1985.
First Female Creative Director: Martin Sitbon
After Karl Lagerfeld, Martin Sitbon was appointed as creative director in 1987. At that time, Martin was at the peak of her popularity, with her work in her own brand garnering praise from many critics. During her tenure at Chloé, Sitbon created an image of a strong, self-confident woman that blended softness and femininity. This was reflected in her clothing, which combined elements from the men's wardrobe with cabaret glamor. For advertising campaigns, Martin selected some of the most famous supermodels, including Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, and others. After working at Chloé for nine seasons, Sitbon went on to establish her own brand.
Rising Star: Stella McCartney
In 1997, the 25-year-old daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney joined the brand. At the time, Lagerfeld remarked, "I think the brand should have taken someone with a louder name in my place. It is loud, but in music, not in fashion. Let's hope Stella is as gifted as her father." McCartney became the youngest designer in the House's history and breathed new life into the label, infusing it with playfulness, sexiness, romance, and a distinctive British style of tailoring. This marked the birth of a new Chloé audience.
The Big Breakthrough: Phoebe Philo
Phoebe Philo, who had been Stella McCartney's right-hand woman, succeeded her in 2001. Philo's appointment coincided with the fashion industry's embrace of leather. In 2005, the iconic Paddington bag was introduced, worn by celebrities like the Hilton sisters, Nicole Richie, and Mischa Barton. It became the first It-bag associated with the fashion of the early 2000s. Chloé's sales skyrocketed, growing by 60% worldwide and 80% in the US. Philo's blouses, wide high-waisted pants, and wedge-heeled shoes came to define the boho-chic style of the new millennium. The New York Times even dubbed her "the Chanel of her generation." Phoebe left the label in 2006 to spend more time with her family, a move considered unprecedented for a woman of her level of success.
Future Vintage: Natacha Ramsay-Levy
In 2017, Natacha Ramsay-Levy, a mentee of Nicolas Ghesquière (creative director of Louis Vuitton), was announced as Chloé's new creative director, becoming the first French woman to hold the post since Sitbon. Having started her career at Balenciaga and then Louis Vuitton, Ramsay-Levy worked alongside Ghesquière for over 15 years. Throughout her career, she maintained an active social life, attending parties and events. Her debut SS'18 collection garnered praise from both critics and fans of the brand. Under Ramsay-Levy's guidance, the carefree spirit of the '70s made a comeback in Chloé's designs, seamlessly blended with a touch of retrofuturism inherited from her mentor, Nicolas Ghesquière. Her collections feature an earthy color palette and flowing silhouettes with sharp edges - angular shoulders, deep V-necklines, wide lapels, and balloon-shaped jewelry. "Future vintage" defines today's dress code at Chloé.