Fashion house Chloé has named Natacha Ramsay-Levi as its new creative director. The designer, who comes to the French fashion house from Louis Vuitton, will take up the role as of April 3, WWD reports. She succeeds British creative Clare Waight Keller, who announced her departure from the brand in January, after six years at its helm.
Ramsay-Levi will handle ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories and her first collection for the label will be unveiled in Paris in September.
The appointment will mean disruption for Richemont-owned Chloé, as Ramsay-Levi is associated with modern looks involving hard fabrics such as leather and synthetics, at odds with the label's traditional flowing romantic silhouettes. Citing the success of Hedi Slimane at Yves Saint Laurent and Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga, fashion consultants argue that a new artistic direction, if thought out well, can be good for a brand because it gets consumers' attention and can help boost sales.
At Louis Vuitton, Ramsay-Levi was a key member of Ghesquiere's team. As design director, she was the only person the studio's designers and assistants regularly spoke to, as Ghesquiere rarely interacted with them directly, former studio employees told Reuters. Ramsay-Levi, who worked more than a decade with Ghesquiere at Balenciaga, on top of being his go-between, understood well his creative directions and translated them into concrete looks and products she asked designers to produce.
There has been high staff turnover at Louis Vuitton's design studio the past two years, partly due to the brand's long working hours and stressful environment, former employees have told Reuters. Many studio staff are on three-month or one-month renewable contracts which prevents them from having days off or compensation for over-time.