One of the most iconic brands of the 60s and 70s, Chloé was founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion, who, having married her childhood sweetheart, embraced her second love, designing a small collection of elegant, yet relaxed pieces. This collection was a far cry from the starched and stiff formal haute couture and Gaby delighted in the glamorous, aspirational designs, naming each Chloé garment using sequential letters of the alphabet, a tradition remaining until 1987.
Karl Lagerfeld came on board as a designer in 1966 and Chloé quickly gained fans in Jackie Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly, with loose silk blouses and whispering silk trousers bringing relaxed elegance that celebrated femininity and romance.
Chloé’s free spirit
Chloé’s black and white Rachmaninoff dress and matching scarf perfectly sum up the Chloé spirit. With a nod to the bohemian, bold prints and a matching headscarf, Chloé was dominating catwalks with its iconic and trailblazing designs and free spirit throughout the 70s.
The Chloé cape
It was during this decade that the Chloé cape became a fashion must-have. Finding many interpretations, with soft wool for winter and light, elegant silk for summer, it created a sense of freedom that Chloé held dear.
Come 1997, a young Stella McCartney took the reins as creative director. At just 25, she was the Maison’s youngest recruit, taking the brand in an edgier, sexier direction, throwing sharp tailoring, printed t-shirts and vintage lingerie into the mix. Her youthful exuberance combined Britpop with Saville Row, embracing the anarchic themes of the era and attracting a younger generation of Chloé fans.
With their first ‘It Bag’ in the Paddington Bag and an introduction of leather goods and shoes, Chloé’s dominance in the fashion world was steadily growing, and they launched a sister line, See, in 2005. Aimed at a younger market, the brand includes handbags, ready-to-wear and accessories.
Collecting celebrity fans such as Kristen Dunst and Natalie Portman along the way, Chloé has been quietly sustaining their place in the fashion world. Avoiding scandal, gaudy campaigning and risqué operations, Chloé relies upon the authenticity of the brand to gain support. Celebrating their 60th birthday in 2012, Chloé continues to produce iconic designs and beautiful collections, staying true to their glamorous, free-spirited 70s roots and maintaining their feminine yet strong niche in the fashion world.
Now with Natacha Ramsay-Levi at the helm, Chloé’s style is still going strong.