Today In Luxury Designer Firings: Chloé Dumps Creative Director


Designer Hannah MacGibbon is out at Chloé. Effective June 1st, the designer Clare Waight Keller, formerly of Pringle of Scotland, will replace MacGibbon as Chloé’s creative director. Despite mostly good reviews and some lovely collections — and despite being the entire reason 70s-style camel coats were in all of the magazines last fall — MacGibbon’s job security had been the subject of many rumors; in April, Chloé didn’t really help the situation when it announced it had renewed her contract — for only one season. (MacGibbon is said to be leaving to pursue “other projects.”) This is another in the ongoing series of designer firings, hirings, and general job-swapping going on at the major European fashion houses; call it the Paris Spring. (This side of the pond hasn’t been entirely immune, if you count Gap letting Patrick Robinson go.) John Galliano was booted from Dior; Christophe Decarnin at Balmain had a nervous breakdown and was replaced by Nicholas Rousteing; Waight Keller left Pringle; Gainfranco Ferrè fired Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi; and even though Galliano’s trial (and the presentation of new Dior couture and resort collections) is just around the corner, nobody yet knows who’s going to take the top creative job at Dior. [WWD]
Speaking of John Galliano, this week comes his first pre-trial hearings for allegedly using racist and anti-Semitic slurs against a couple in a bar. Galliano is now suing his former lawyer, the very Jewish Stéphane Zerbib, for allegedly stealing more than €3 million from bank accounts Zerbib had access to. Zerbib said Friday, “John Galliano would be better off concentrating on his upcoming trial than seeking out scapegoats.” [le Figaro]
And now, Stéphane Zerbib is suing John Galliano for defamation. [WWD]

Rose Cordero makes a beautiful Josephine Baker — and, uh, Crystal Renn’s bush strikes again, this time on a magazine cover — in the new issue of Tush. Shot by Ellen von Unwerth. [; link obvs NSFW]

Dr. Peggy Drexler, a research psychologist and gender scholar who happens to be married to J. Crew megabillionaire C.E.O. Mickey Drexler, says the brouhaha over creative director Jenna Lyons‘ son’s toenails made her angry. “I was so annoyed, and dispirited, frankly, because, as I say, it’s something I’ve talked about for a long time and studied and have strong feelings about…these ‘experts’ on TV weren’t gender experts, they were talking heads! Jenna was so funny, she had [Beckett] watching the news reports. He’s four, and he was just like, ‘I’m on television! I’m on television!’ It was very cute. He was over the moon.” [WWD]

Gucci‘s extremely bright spring collection has landed on 50 magazine covers and counting. [Fashionista]

Gabriel Aubry rocks the highly advanced plaid-shirt-gingham-tie combo in his new Hugo Boss ads. [TLF]

  • Cynthia Rowley: “I had my kids late, so I was lucky to have already built a substantial career by the time I got pregnant, but I never questioned either choice. Kids aren’t your albatross. In my opinion, they’re the best thing that will ever happen to you. They’re so much fun.” Milly designer Michelle Smith says having kids has given her “perspective” — “like if a blue was a little bit off, big deal. Whereas before I would have been like ‘oh, my God!'” [NYDN]
  • Victoria and David Beckham‘s personal fortune weighs in at around £165 million. [Vogue UK]
  • Today in strange bedfellows: England’s most famous crackhead ’06-?? Pete Doherty is “designing” a clothing collection for French label The Kooples. [WWD]
  • Keith Urban, husband of Nicole Kidman, is releasing a perfume. [WWD]
  • Judith Thurman reviewed the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” show at the Met: “While McQueen had many anxieties, running dry wasn’t among them. He was supremely confident of his instincts and his virtuosity. That ballast freed him to improvise, to take wild chances, and to jettison received ideas about what clothing should be made of (why not seashells or dead birds?), what it should look like (Renaissance court dress, galactic disco wear, the skins of a mutant species), and, above all, how much it could mean. The designer who creates a dress rarely invests it with as much feeling as the woman who wears it, and couture is not an obvious medium for self-revelation, but in McQueen‘s case it was. His work was a form of confessional poetry.” Thurman, who found the show’s conceit that McQueen worked in the Romantic tradition more convincing than we did, continues, “Even if you never bother with fashion shows, go to this one.” (On that, we agree.) Bonus: we did not know that Lee Alexander McQueen “started using his middle name at the outset of his career, because he was on welfare and he didn’t want to lose his benefits.” [New Yorker]
  • On opening day, the McQueen show had 5100 visitors, setting a record for Costume Institute shows. Museum-wide, opening day attendance at any show hit a peak of 5400 in 2005 for “Vincent Van Gogh: Drawings.” [On The Runway]
  • Jane Pratt‘s soon-to-be-launched weblog fashion site thing has a new name — “,” not “” Geometric Sleep is involved, and Christina Kelly, who worked at Jane and Sassy and edited ELLE girl, will be a contributor. [WWD]
  • Christy Turlington, whose documentary about maternal mortality aired on TV last night, jokes in this interview that if she were to write a memoir it would be called My Life As A Drag Queen.. “The 80s and the early 90s were the worst possible time to be a model, in terms of the images that really hold up — I find them quite dated and not pretty at all.” [CBS]
  • Is the surging price of cotton — which now costs more per pound than at any time since the U.S. Civil War, according to Mark Messura, “senior vice president of global marketing supply chain at Cotton Incorporated.” (Cotton was $1.97/lb in March; it closed at $1.46 on Friday.) The extremely volatile market is leading to more expensive clothes. The culprits include ethanol production — the ready market for which encourages farmers to switch from cotton — and the growing need for food in China. [WWD]
  • Max Azria is looking for someone to lend him $230 million. Any takers? Anyone? [WWD]
  • Gilt Groupe just attracted another $62 million in investment. The Japanese telecommunications company Softbank is acquiring a 50% stake in Gilt’s Japanese subsidiary, which launched in 2009. Softbank’s investment will fund the site’s growth. [WWD]
  • If you want to buy the same style of shoes Kate Middleton once wore, the brand that makes them is very obligingly reissuing them. [Fashion ETC]
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