Designer

Designer file: Chloé

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In past articles we’ve talked about Italian finesse, it’s time we took a trip to France. To Paris, to be exact, the city of romance and good wine. And with good wine there comes good fashion.

Chloé is one of the most influential brands reflecting Parisian style that is topped with sensuality and femininity. Creator of the label, Gaby Aghion, was born in Egypt and moved to Paris in 1945. Around this time, she married her husband Raymond, who was an art enthusiast just like her.

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Gaby soon became a very popular person within the Communists groups at the time and was friends with people like Louis Aragon and Paul Eluard. Part of a bohemian circle, she would frequently visit cafes to chat about art with Picasso himself. With such an aristocratic environment surrounding her, Gabrielle set up her own label: Chloé. Named after one of her best friends, Chloé Huysmans, the designer aimed to create something for all women out there. To bring simplicity in everyone’s lives. Unlike other famous creators, Gaby was really trying to design for her friends, and not the 1950s salons’ women.

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The label came to life in 1952 when she partnered with Jacques Lenoir in 1953, who handled the financial side of the business. And so, Gaby started creating and came up with the innovative concept of ready-to-wear. While the gowns of the wealthy Parisian women looked depicted from fairytales, Chloé brought out collections which were easy to adapt.

The first collection saw six dresses which sold out in each French boutique they were hung up in.  It was a revolution of expensive fashion, as Chloé started selling luxury everyday pieces.

As the label developed, some signature pieces were more and more required by fashionistas. Casual chic shirts and neat cigarette silhouettes made up a concept now taken for granted.

Starting with only six dresses, the name has taken off quickly and became a milestone in the emergence of fashion. Amongst the people working for the house, Karl Lagerfeld is one of the few who stands out. With a young and original approach, Karl worked with Gaby. Although a ‘shy individual’, young Karl contributed massively to the rise of Chloé in the fashion industry.

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In 1985, Gaby Aghion handed over the ownership to the Richemont Group, a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company. In the next decades, Chloé expands and conquers other parts of the world, crossing European boundaries. The house started designing accessories, which became staple pieces of today’s fashion, like the Chloé  handbags.

Today, Chloé is a representative of the French fashion creating head to toe looks, which still promote a timeless chic and effortless attitude. 64 years later the house continues on selling clothes for women created by women.

Words by Cristiana Frunza. 

Holly and Eleanor are your fashion editors

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