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New designers named as appointments usher in new era at top fashion houses


File Image: Chloe.
File Image: Chloe.
Chemena Kamali has been appointed as new creative director of French fashion label Chloe, the company has announced.

Kamali replaces Gabriela Hearst in the role, the appointment a return to her roots as Kamali started her design career at the label known for its free-spirited femininity. Hearst took on the role, alongside heading up her namesake brand, three years ago.

Born in Germany in 1981, Kamali undertook a Master of Arts in Fashion at Central Saint Martin’s University of the Arts in London and graduated with distinction in 2007.

The designer has over two decades of experience including a long tenure with Chloé. She began her career at the fashion house as part of Phoebe Philo’s team and later rejoined as design director to Clare Waight Keller in 2013. Most recently, from 2016, she was Women’s Ready to Wear Design Director for Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent. ​

“My heart has always been Chloé’s,” Kamali said in a statement.

“It has been since I stepped through its doors more than 20 years ago. Returning feels natural and very personal. I am extremely honoured to be taking on this role and to be building on the vision that Gaby Aghion and Karl Lagerfeld defined early in the Maison’s history. I hope to capture the emotional connection and spirit of Chloé for today. ”

Kamali will present her first pre-collection for Chloé in Paris in January 2024, followed by her Fall-Winter 2024 collection during Paris Fashion Week in February 2024. ​

Chemena Kamali; Seán McGirr. Images courtesy Chloe, Alexander McQueen.

Another key announcement in the past week, is the instatement of Seán McGirr as creative director of British label Alexander McQueen.

McGirr was named by French luxury goods group Kering as the replacement for previous longstanding creative director, Sarah Burton. Kering announced Burton’s departure on September 12, after 26 years with the brand. She stepped up to the role in May 2010, following the death of visionary founder Lee Alexander McQueen.

Seán McGirr was previously Head of Ready-to-Wear at JW Anderson. He joined JW Anderson in 2020 to head up the men’s collections, eventually adding womenswear to his responsibilities. Prior to that, he was Women’s Designer for Dries Van Noten in Antwerp. From 2014 to 2018, he was part of Uniqlo’s creative offices in Tokyo and Paris working on the men’s collections guided by Christophe Lemaire. He started his career assisting at Burberry and Vogue Hommes Japan.

An Irish national, born in Dublin, he is a graduate of Central Saint Martins in London, where he obtained a Master of Arts in Fashion in 2014.

Earlier this season, Sabato de Sarno showed his first collection for Gucci at Milan Fashion Week. The line was a considerably more refined, sleek and pared-back offering that predecessor Alessandro Michele’s designs. Michele left Gucci in November last year.

In February, British designer Daniel Lee showed his first collection for Burberry. Lee was the creative director of the Italian luxury fashion house Bottega Veneta from 2018 to 2021, before being appointed as Riccardo Tisci’s replacement as chief creative officer at the helm of Burberry.


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