Clare Waight Keller

Report: Chloé Creative Director Clare Waight Keller To Leave The Brand

We’re only a few days in 2017, but it looks like this year’s edition of fashion musical chairs has already begun.

The first changes of the year will happen at Chloé, with creative director Clare Waight Keller leaving the brand, according to Reuters.

The report says Keller decided not to renew her contract (which ends in March) in order to spend time with her family, who moved back to London from Paris in June. Sources say the mother-of-three “wished to stop” commuting between the two cities. Interestingly enough, former Chloé designer, Phoebe Philo, left the brand in 2006 for similar reasons.

Reuters also reports Keller will be replaced by Louis Vuitton‘s senior director, Natacha Ramsay-Levi, though Chloé and Vuitton have declined to comment, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Ramsay-Levi previously worked with Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière for more than a decade during his tenure at Balenciaga, before following him to Vuitton in 2013.

Ramsay-Levi is said to be a “key” member of the Vuitton team (she’s known as Ghesquière’s “second-in-command”) and the “only person the studio’s designers and assistants regularly spoke to,” according to former studio employees.

Should the reports of her new role at Chloé be true, this means major shakeups at Vuitton as well. Reuters says industry sources predict Ghesquière will end his tenure with the French fashion house before his contract is up for renewal in 2018. Meanwhile, Ghesquière himself told Le Petit Journal last June he “hope[d]” to design his own line one day.

Whoever Keller’s successor is, however, will have some pretty big shoes to fill. Since joining Chloé in 2011, the French label “enjoyed a geographically broad-based double-digit growth rate (in half-year sales)” thanks to the popular Drew and Faye leather bags, according to the brand’s parent company, Richemont. And indeed, the influx of social media influencers dubbed #chloegirls is proof.

Stay tuned for more updates.