Another four years, and another designer rotation at Chloé. The French fashion label announced that Natacha Ramsay-Levi is stepping down as Creative Director. Ramsay-Levi came to the brand from Louis Vuitton, where she worked under the tutelage of Nicholas Ghesquiere. Her brand of runway-to-street chic was a high note for the Chloé brand, with a youthful, cool-girl edge and realism injected into the label’s core DNA codes established by founder Gaby Aghion.
“Over the last four years, I have had the great privilege, with the support of Chloé’s teams, to express my own creativity, while refocusing the Maison on Gaby Aghion’s commitment to intellectual freedom and to fundamental values that unite all of us,” said Ramsay-Levi, whilst praising the brand’s representation of “meaningful and powerful femininity.”
Ramsay-Levi’s time at Chloe came after Clare Waight Keller, who left the brand to head up Givenchy. It seems that Ramsay’s departure might have been a by-product of the fallout and existential quandary fashion has been thrown in since Covid-19. She explains in a statement that:
“Over the last months of health, social and economic turmoil, I have thought about the changes I want to see in our industry and how to better align them with my own creative, intellectual and emotional values. It is this reflection that makes me consider my future differently and my desire to pursue new opportunities.”
Whilst the brand says that it plans to appoint a new creative director in due course, this will no doubt be a significant blow. I wonder how many other designers are having similar thoughts. How many of these creatives, many sensitive by nature, have been questioning their own paths or the future path of the industry?
Fashion’s growth has been shaken to it’s core this year with the pandemic. Retail is disrupted, income security has dropped as has luxury spend in many markets (with perhaps the exception of Mainland China) in the later half of the year).
Perhaps it is more the case that the fragility of the industry means that more “big name” designers will be more conservative about moving labels, and that fashion’s recent merry-go-round will slow down for the time being.