After weeks and weeks of speculation about whether Hannah MacGibbon would keep her job as creative director at Chloe, the brand has announced she’s leaving to “pursue other projects.” MacGibbon will be replaced by Clare Waight Keller, who was previously the creative director of Pringle of Scotland.
MacGibbon’s career trajectory with Chloe looked more like a roller coaster than anything else. She’d been with the brand for almost a decade, succeeding Paulo Melim Andersson as creative director in 2008. Right after the Paris Fashion Week turmoil with John Galliano and Christophe Decarnin, The New York Times reported that MacGibbon’s waning contract with Chloe wasn’t likely to be renewed. Then a few weeks later came a story from WWD claiming that yes, in fact, MacGibbon’s contract would continue for at least another season. Chloe’s CEO Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye told the paper vaguely, “Hannah is still with us, that’s all I can say.”
De la Bourdonnaye told WWD a lot more today, saying that the brand is thankful for MacGibbon’s work, but looking forward to what Waight Keller can do for the brand. She credited herself with turning Pringle from an overpriced knitwear company into an “international luxury brand.”
And that’s something that every brand wants to be — a global business. MacGibbon’s work may have been beautiful, but if Chloe and its owner Compagnie Financière Richemont SA want a businesswoman at the helm of their creative operation, Waight Keller might be the right choice. And maybe, in the interest of making money and streamlining businesses (and keeping crazy, indulgent artists out of the boardroom) fashion companies want their creative officers to look and think more like their executives.