By  on September 28, 2012

“After a year, you really start to get under the skin of a brand.”

So says Clare Waight Keller, who is slated to show her third runway collection for Chloé on Monday as the French fashion house marks its 60th anniversary.

Not that her spring collection will be a retrospective exercise.

“Everything should feel very relevant to today,” insists Waight Keller, who joined Chloé in May 2011 after six years at the creative helm of Pringle of Scotland.

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While Waight Keller is the fourth young Englishwoman to helm the design studio in the past dozen years (after Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo and Hannah MacGibbon), chief executive officer Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye noted that Waight Keller is one of the few designers at Chloé to have prior experience as a creative director for a global brand.

“Clare is extremely smart and very mature in her approach,” de la Bourdonnaye said. “Her collections are elevating the standards for Chloé.”

At Pringle, Waight Keller oversaw women’s and men’s collections plus all aspects of brand image, including shop design, packaging and advertising.

Before that, she was a senior women’s wear designer at Gucci under Tom Ford, and earlier, was design director for Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label men’s line. Her first job was as a women’s wear designer for Calvin Klein.

An affable, down-to-earth mother of three, Waight Keller said she relates strongly to Chloé’s heritage.“[The brand] doesn’t take itself too seriously,” she said. “It caters to a real woman with more of a daytime wardrobe.…I love the fact that it feels very real.”


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