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Givenchy splits with Meghan Markle wedding dress designer

Clare Waight Keller and French fashion house Givenchy are going their separate ways, the LVMH-owned luxury label announced Friday, ending the designer’s run as artistic director just short of the three-year mark.

“I want to warmly thank Clare Waight Keller for her contribution to Givenchy’s latest chapter,” LVMH Fashion Group Chairman and Chief Executive Sidney Toledano said in the announcement. “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. I wish Clare all the best in her future endeavors.”

Pops of purple, novel knits and head-to-toe leather join the cape among the season’s top five trends.

The announcement, which noted that the spring and summer womenswear collection presented March 1 in Paris would be Waight Keller’s last for the house, also included the following statement from the designer.

“As the first woman to be the artistic director of this legendary Maison, I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to cherish its legacy and bring it new life.

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“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.”

The former Chloé designer signed on at the house that Hubert built in May 2017 and presented her first men’s and women’s collections — in a combined show — barely five months later. She seemed to find her footing with the following season’s Night Noir ready-to-wear runway collection.

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Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle marries Britain’s Prince Harry on May 19, 2018, in a dress designed by Givenchy’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller, who has ended her nearly three-year run at the house.
(Neil Hall / EPA-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock)

Two months later, Waight Keller was thrust into the pop-culture consciousness when Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in a wedding gown created by the British designer.

Any halo effect from the millions of eyeballs that tuned in, though, wasn’t enough to keep the brand and the designer in a long-term relationship because, not even two years later, she presented what would turn out to be her final runway looks for the house — a fall and winter 2020 runway collection inspired by French art-house cinema that served up some of the season’s most memorable capes.

According to the April 10 statement, the creative organization of the house will be announced at a later date, so it’s not immediately clear who will succeed Waight Keller at the creative helm.


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