PARIS Givenchy named Clare Waight Keller as its new artistic director on Thursday, becoming the first woman at the creative helm of the French fashion house founded by Hubert de Givenchy in 1952.
Waight Keller takes over in May from star designer Ricardo Tisci, who left in January after 12 years in the role, and joins a growing list of British designers for Givenchy, such as John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Julien Macdonald.
Givenchy, owned by luxury group LVMH, first announced the news in a post on its Instagram account and said Waight Keller will oversee all product lines, including women's and men's ready-to-wear, accessories and haute couture.
"I am very happy to have Clare Waight Keller join the LVMH group," Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH, said in the statement. "I believe her widespread expertise and vision will allow Givenchy to enter the next phase of its unique path."
Waight Keller joins Givenchy after six years as creative director of Richemont's fashion house Chloe, which she joined from Pringle of Scotland in 2011. A knitwear specialist, Waight Keller brought a feminine, bohemian style to Chloe.
Italian designer Tisci revitalized Givenchy with a dark, edgy vibe and there was widespread speculation when his departure was announced in February that he would join Versace.
Over the past 12 months, a string of star designers have left top fashion houses Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Lanvin and most recently Chloe.
(Editing by David Clarke)