Arriving in Paris
The Egyptian-born political science graduate: Gaby Aghion came to Paris in 1945. She became part of a bohemian circle who gathered in Left Bank cafes with friends like Picasso and Paul Eluard. 7 years later she started her own brand Chloé.
What's in a name?
She founded Chloé as a reaction to the restrictive styles and stiffness of haute couture of the 1950s. Gaby Aghion championed a style which was more accessible and wearable for women, without compromising on quality. Her collections were perfect for everyday wear with a touch of luxury and it was not long before the term prêt-à-porter was born. Aghion named Chloé after a friend she believed embodied the carefree attitude of the modern young woman at the time, which is still exactly what the brand portrays.
In 1965 Karl Lagerfeld joined Chloé, working under Aghion. In 1966 Karl was appointed head designer and Chloé became one of the symbolic brands of the 70's. During his reign, Karl Lagerfeld found a audience of stylish hippies like Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot. Other clients were Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly. His signature look consisted of cultural references and pop influences that are still popular today.
Proved him wrong
After Aghion, many different designers have ruled the scepter at the fashion house including Stella McCartney. In 1997 McCartney was appointed as creative director, following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld was not happy with the house's choice, stating, "Chloé should have taken a big name. They did, but in music, not fashion. Let's hope she's as gifted as her father.” And she was! McCartney's designs got a lot of attention and appreciation.
Master of modern vintage
When Stella McCartney left to concentrate on her own label, her former design assistant Phoebe Philo became the new creative director. Over the next five years Philo made Chloé one of the hottest brands of Paris fashion week. Philo's designs were elegant, feminine and had a modern vintage feel to it. Philo gave the Chloé brand a cult status with the Paddington bag, which became an it-bag in the early Zero's.
Other it-bags besided the Paddington bag are the Marcie bag and most recently the Drew and the Faye bag. These bags are again everyhing that Chloé stands for the: a very luxe-bohemian vibe, easy to wear, and overall a casual yet high-end feel.