Clare Waight Keller on Fashion Beginnings

Chloe celebrating SoHo Boutique, New York, America - 11 Jun 2013. Clare Waight Keller learnt about fabrics when she was a kid.


Clare Waight Keller first learnt about fabrics as a girl visiting rag markets with her mother.

The creative director at Chloé has been at the French fashion house for three years.

But her beginnings in the fashion industry were a lot more humble.

“I used to go to the old rag market with my mother, who would make clothes for the family and things for the house,” she told British newspaper The Telegraph.

“It was a huge warehouse space filled with these little stalls. She was careful about what she bought and we always calculated what we would buy and what we would use it for beforehand.”

Clare got her degree at the Royal College of Art and spent her formative years working for Calvin Klein in New York.

But despite this experience, Clare’s early beginnings in her hometown were what started her love of fabrics.

“I suppose it was very influential. After a while it felt natural, and I have always loved looking at fabrics,” she mused.

This experience and passion has served her well as a Brit in charge of the French fashion houses.

At first sight a classic Chloé outfit does not scream how expensive it is.

“Well, that is another thing about the French. They don’t do the high street trend – it’s like, ‘Oh, yes, that is very London,’” she explained to the publication.

“Instead French women are very particular about what they buy, and they always choose quality over quantity for sure. They prefer very, very good fabrics in everyday staples. That’s why they always look so chic – it looks like just a skirt and a top, but the fabric and the colour elevate it.”

© Cover Media / sydney4women

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