Clare Waight Keller departs from her role at Givenchy: Here are her best menswear looks
In 2017, when Riccardo Tisci announced that he was leaving Givenchy after 12 years at the French luxury fashion house, it sent shockwaves throughout the industry and fans alike. Tisci's reign at Givenchy was one for the books. His dark and at times, menacing aesthetic and overall vibe became a Givenchy signature—Rottweiler graphic prints, heavy punk inspirations, and melding streetwear references with tailoring.
Clare Waight Keller's appointment then was seen as a move towards something less Tisci and perhaps, more Hubert de Givenchy. Waight Keller after all, came straight from Chloé, a womenswear brand that's the exact opposite of the deep, dark and dramatic that was Tisci's Givenchy.
Her first runway show marked a new dawn for the fashion house. Shown at Paris' Palais de Justice (it was exclusively for Givenchy's use for the next three years; a telltale sign), it signalled a return to the kind of elegance that the house's founder laid. The womenswear creations were feminine but not outrightly so, while the menswear was polished, refined, and with a touch of hard-edge.
Clare Waight Keller takes a bow at her last menswear show for Givenchy.
Subsequent collections often had Waight Keller digging deep into Givenchy's archives and finding inspiration in the founder's designs, life and iconic moments in fashion. Her haute couture collections were some of the most eagerly awaited shows of the season, with strong showings of couture craftsmanship that seem to challenge the capabilities of the house's artisans.
But perhaps, her downfall was in some of her streetwear-inspired pieces that looked forced and at times, didn't seem as though they were part of a cohesive collection. This was very much apparent It's been reported that although the men's side of the business continued to do relatively well under Waight Keller's tenure, it was the women's accessories that didn't seem to attract new or existing customers.
It's difficult to say if given more time, Givenchy's new look under Waight Keller could have gained more traction and become a new house signature. But fashion's becoming increasingly cutthroat. It's a challenging time for any fashion designer to craft out a new artistic direction for a revered fashion house and then attract a new crowd while at the same time, not alienating existing clientele. It's especially more difficult to do so in the short span of three years.
As to who takes over the creative reins at Givenchy, the fashion house stated in an official press release that it would be announced at a later date. In the meantime, we look back at some of Waight Keller's greatest menswear hits for a refined Givenchy as its first female artistic director.