PARIS — A young, female designer is back in the driver's seat at Chloé.
Hannah MacGibbon — who worked under Phoebe Philo for five years and helped set the brand's winning hip-yet-girlish template — will succeed Paulo Melim Andersson as creative director.
MacGibbon, 38, is expected to show her first collection for the house during Paris Fashion Week in October for the spring 2009 season. A striking, soft-spoken blonde with a penchant for breezy dresses and statement jewelry, MacGibbon worked under Philo from 2001 to 2006. Most recently, she consulted for Chloé as creative director of its new signature perfume, launched with licensing partner Coty Prestige and landing on counters last month.
"Hannah has been an integral part of our company for many years and we look forward to the overall creative vision she will bring to the growing world of Chloé," Ralph Toledano, Chloé's chairman and chief executive officer, said Monday.
He also thanked Melim Andersson for his contribution. "Paulo is a truly talented designer," he said. "I am totally confident that he will have a very successful career."
Toledano declined further comment. Melim Andersson was not available for comment.
A Swedish national, Melim Andersson joined Chloé in October 2006 from Marni and showed three collections for the French house. He steered Chloé in an edgier, quirkier direction with offbeat colors and asymmetrical cutting, earning mixed reviews.
The chiffon tea dresses and mannish blazers he unveiled for fall earlier this month were seen as more in step with Chloé's charming ingenue ethos.
But the brand also has seen its once-explosive momentum sputter, putting pressure on management to stem the slowdown. Sales at Chloé, part of Compagnie Financière Richemont, grew 9 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31. (The luxury firm is slated to issue a trading statement on 2007-08 sales late next month, followed by full results in May.)
Melim Andersson's departure is yet another sign that fashion companies — facing stiff competition and a toughening economic climate — seem less willing to tolerate less-than-perfect casting for their design directors.
Last month, Gianfranco Ferré parted ways with Swede Lars Nilsson before he even presented his first collection on the Milan runway. And Vionnet has chewed through two designers, Sophia Kokosolaki and Marc Audibet, in less than a year on its bumpy road to rejuvenation. The revolving door also has been spinning at Emanuel Ungaro, Guy Laroche and Anne Klein, which shuttered its designer division after two seasons with Isabel Toledo.Chloé has been one of the industry's recent success stories, its sales more than doubling in 2005, fueled by Philo's knack for creating coveted handbags, footwear and clothing. For Richemont's 2006-07 fiscal year, Chloé was cited as a star performer, with sales rising more than 50 percent due to an expanded retail network.
Last year, Richemont executives announced plans to expand Chloé into watches and jewelry to capitalize on its strong brand recognition. Founded in 1953 by Gaby Aghion and Jacques Lenoir, Chloé was credited with inventing the category of luxury ready-to-wear and making youthful femininity the brand's byword. Aghion worked with a rotating team of designers, some of them unknown, tapping Karl Lagerfeld as head designer in 1965.
Stella McCartney took up the reins in 1997, and was succeeded by Philo four years later when McCartney resigned to set up her own fashion house in a joint venture with Gucci Group. Chloé relied on its in-house design team while it conducted a worldwide search for Philo's successor.
According to sources, MacGibbon declined when asked to be considered for the top job at Chloé in 2006, when Philo resigned to spend more time with her family and her new baby, Maya. Philo gave birth to a son in June. MacGibbon — like Philo, a graduate of London fashion school Central Saint Martins — worked as an assistant director to retired Roman couturier Valentino Garavani before joining Chloé.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye