The whispers have been circulating for years, but now it’s official: New York-based Uruguayan designer Gabriela Hearst is taking the reins at Chloé. She steps into the top role after Natacha Ramsay-Levi announced she was leaving the French brand last week after a three-and-a-half-year tenure.
Hearst’s appointment is effective as of today. Writing on Instagram, she said: “I am grateful for an opportunity at such a beloved brand as @chloe. I am thankful to Natacha Ramsay-Levi and all the other extraordinary designers that have come before her and helped build on the purposeful vision of Gaby Aghion. I am excited for the opportunity to work under the leadership of Riccardo Bellini and support him in his commitment to create a business that is socially conscious and in balance with our environment. I am also humbled to be able to work with the Chloé team to help execute this beautiful vision in creative and accountable ways.”
A CFDA winner and a recipient of the International Woolmark prize, Hearst is known and adored for her elegant, sustainably-minded collections under her eponymous label, which she began in 2015.
For at least a year, Twitter’s fashion fanatics have thrown her name in the ring for a takeover at Chloé. Ergo, the latest announcement in the merry-go-round of luxury creative directors is the least surprising in quite a while.
In a move that will shock no one, Chloe has named Gabriela Hearst its new creative director.
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) December 7, 2020
The rumors have finally been confirmed, Gabriela Hearst is the new Creative Director of Chloé. Her first collection will debut in March for the Fall-Winter 2021 season.
— IAMFASHION (@IAMFASHlON) December 7, 2020
And just like that, @chloefashion has a new designer. Gabriela Hearst.
— Robin Givhan (@RobinGivhan) December 7, 2020
Gabriela Hearst denying the Chloé rumors in OCTOBER you gotta give it to her pic.twitter.com/nB9cJUzEkC
— Mario Abad (@MarioAAbad) December 7, 2020
With her smart but sensual tailoring and luxurious approach to eco-conscious fashion, Hearst makes an interesting choice for a brand that’s synonymous with a more laissez-faire and bohemian approach to getting dressed. Still, the designer has proved that she’s a sure bet, commercially as well as critically—according to the Business of Fashion, her label generated between $15 and $20 million in sales three years after launch and handbags account for half of all sales (a major focus for Chloé; which has produced no shortage of iconic it bags over the decades.)
Before beginning her namesake label, Hearst co-founded Candela in 2004.