It’s been a long time since I first met Clare Waight Keller. We were in London and by that time she was the Head of Design at Pringle of Scotland. Backtage, she explained me about some knitwear which I thought it was oustanding to see and impossible to wear, unless you were a model.
I also thought she was incredibly smart, with a strong vision and down to earth at the same time. Before that, she been at Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Gucci during the Tom Ford era. You could tell she bloody knew what she was doing, therefore no wonder when they hired her at Chloé in 2011 and she did a great job.
Now she takes Riccardo Tisci’s place. The Italian designer really shaped Givenchy identity in his 12 years in Paris, but now it’s her turn and I can’t wait to see the results. Don’t take me wrong, I loved Tisci’s Givenchy and I’m super exctited too to see what he’s gonna do with the Vogue Italia: The New Beginning big party which will happen in Milano under his artistic direction on Sept. 22nd. The thing is that fashion needs challanges and thrill. Just like Clare’s debut video filmed by Steven Meisel and mostly about cats, as you can see below here, before you keep reading about great fashion debuts.
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first time at Dior, Raf Simons new start at Calvin Klein or Demna Gvastalia show number one at Balenciaga: these are all things that make fashion exciting. Data are becoming more and more important when creating a collection and I’m not saying it’s bad. If you have tools to help you understand what your consumers might buy, you’d be crazy not to use them. Still debuts are inspiring, you can feel the pressure, the willing to make that day memorable. I interviewed Alessandro Dell’Acqua a few weeks ahead of his Rochas first catwalk and he was so wonderfully nervous. I call it good panic, when you know that shit can happen, but you also say to yourself: “I’m ready, I can make it, I’m f**ckin’ cool”.
Another flashback, Paris 2008 first Haute Couture Valentino show with the then just named Creative Directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. Let me tell you, when we left the venue we weren’t extatic. We could tell they worked hard, the clothes were made as usual from the incredible hands of the Valentino premières (that’s how they call the seamstresses in the couture ateliers), still it wasn’t magic that day. It took a little time before we all crushed on the new Valentino, they courted the public like in a love affair and when we all eventually fell for them, they knew it was for real.
So let’s see what’s gonna happen at Givenchy now. The maison just released a teaser filmed by superstar photographer Steven Meisel where the real stars are cats and you can just hint something about the model’s look. Being a complete cat freak, to me it’s a great start. Classy, femine, very Parisienne with some mistery that makes you say: when can I see the rest? Fingers crossed Clare, let’s make us roar.