This week news broke that Claire Waight Keller was resigning as Creative Director of Givenchy. When asked about her departure from the luxury fashion house she stated, “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.” If you’re unsure as to who she is, you may remember her name behind the iconic wedding dress Megan Markle wore, a nod to Audrey Hepburn. The boat neck soon became a trend and the dress itself was a showstopper globally.
Birmingham-born designer and stylist produced over 30 collections for Givenchy, but this wasn’t where she started. She’d worked for Chloé for many years, producing a sporty style, much different to the past few years where she was reinventing haute couture that influenced every level of fashion. In 2018, Meghan Markle presented Waight Keller with the British Designer of the Year Award, where her speech described Claire as a contribution to changing the industry, from being cruel to be cool to being kind. This is seen within her approach where she chooses to support fellow designers rather than competing against them. Waight Keller attends the likes of Valentino’s show and most recently had Marc Jacobs model for her campaign.
I think Claire Waight Keller is an icon to so many creatives. As a female she’s taken a role that’s typically dominated by men and done sensational things with it. Her fame over the past few years hasn’t affected her values and morals, unlike many who still choose to pit women against one another. The ideas have led to phenomenal collections, for both men and women. I really like her work ethic in focusing on whether she herself would wear the product; referencing style, quality and longevity. The elect of simplicity to her work is something many artists struggle to grasp the concept of. For instance, the royal wedding dress itself, was much simpler than Kate Middelton’s McQueen number, but yet so effortlessly elegant and stunning which I believe only Waight Keller could have executed so accurately.
So much of Claire seems relatable to many of us. She’s one of the most talented creatives to come out of Britain, whilst succeeding as a working mother. She works during the day, whilst her 3 children are at school and then as soon as she comes home, it all ends. Really it’s quite odd that I didn’t know about her until 2018 but I’m glad she’s receiving the appreciation she deserves. I definitely see her as a role model and can’t wait to see where her next steps take her, after having had left her mark on Givenchy.