Clare Waight Keller, the British-born designer behind Meghan Markle’s wedding dress, has left Givenchy after three years as artistic director.
The designer’s departure came at the end of her initial contract with Givenchy. Her last collection was the AW 2020 women’s ready-to-wear, which was shown in Paris on 1 March. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body, has cancelled couture week and Spring Resort 2021.
Waight Keller, 49, became the first woman to hold the role in the history of the French fashion house when she joined in 2017.
“After three truly wonderful years, the time has come to close my chapter at Givenchy,” Waight Keller wrote in a statement shared to Instagram.
“As the first woman to be the artistic director of this legendary maison, I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to cherish its legacy and bring it new life.”
Continuing, Waight Keller called the opportunity one of the “highlights of my professional journey”, and said that the “exceptional talent and dedication” of Givenchy ateliers and design teams would “forever remain” in her memories.
The designer also thanked the “unsung heroes and heroines” behind the scenes of the fashion industry for their help and contributions during her time at the French fashion house.
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From the heart ♥️ After three truly wonderful years, the time has come to close my chapter at Givenchy. As the first woman to be the Artistic Director of this legendary Maison, I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to cherish its legacy and bring it new life. Focusing on a world based on Haute Couture has been one of the highlights of my professional journey. I have shared so many incredible moments with the brilliant Givenchy ateliers and design teams : your exceptional talent and dedication will forever remain in my memories. My heartfelt thanks go out to each of the unsung heroes and heroines behind the scenes, for their contribution from product to communications and retail, and every global team member, partner and supplier in between. Without all of you, I could not have brought my vision for Givenchy to life in such a beautiful way. I am now looking forward to embarking on the next episode. Love and creativity remain central to what I do, and who I am, as does a heartfelt belief in kindness, and the courage to be true to your art. See you soon, and most importantly, stay safe ❤️ Love, Clare
Waight Keller celebrated a number of accolades during her time at Givenchy. Along with winning British designer of the year award for womenswear at the 2018 Fashion Awards in London, Waight Keller designed Meghan Markle’s wedding dress for her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry, a boat-necked, sculpted dress featuring a five-metre train embroidered with flowers.
Givenchy is part of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Fashion Group, the world’s largest luxury goods company. In a statement on its Instagram page, the company said it wanted to “warmly thank Clare Waight Keller for her creative leadership, in contribution to our latest chapter”.
“Under her creative leadership, and in great collaboration with its ateliers and teams, the maison reconnected with the founding values of Hubert de Givenchy and his innate sense of elegance,” Sidney Toledano, chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, said. “I wish Clare all the best in her future endeavours.”
Waight Keller came to Givenchy after six years at the helm at Chloe. She has also worked for Pringle of Scotland, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford at Gucci.
As yet there has been no confirmation on the designer’s next move nor has a successor been named at Givenchy, with the luxury fashion brand stating it would announce a new “creative organisation” at a later date.
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