Gabrielle Hanoka, best know as Gaby Aghion, was a fashion designer born in Alexandria, Egypt 1921 and founder of Chloé. She and her husband moved to Paris in 1945 and in 1952 launched Chloé. Gaby Aghion wanted to create an alternative to Haute Couture and to leave behind the stiff and sober designs; fine fabrics and soft and feminine clothes were her bets, but always keeping a high quality level.
The first collection of the French maison was launched in 1956 at Café de Flore, where young intellectuals like Picasso, Sartre or Camus used to go. French femininity emerged from the garments, which had a bohemian and retro inspiration at the same time as sophistication.
In the sixties Aghion hired Karl Lagerfeld and in 1966 he became the designer in chief of Chloé. Lagerfeld’s designs followed the guidelines established by Gaby Aghion and soon became a reference for those Parisian bohemians of the moment. In 1975 was launched the first fragrance of the brand, called Chloé.
A few years later Karl Lagerfeld left the maison and began a period full of changes. Gaby Anhion had run the house until 1985 when Dunhill Holdings bought it. In 1993 it became part of the Vendôme conglomerate. Soon after, in 1997, Stella McCartney, daughter of the Beatle Paul McCartney, became creative director of the maison.
Firstly nobody took her seriously but things changed when her fist collections was introduced, which consisted on an update of the French look. Just as a curiosity, the song she chose for the fashion show was All You Need is Love from The Beatles. Thanks to Stella’s friends, as Kate Moss or actress Liv Tyler, the brand became more and more popular.
In 2001 she left the French House in order to create his own brand and Stella was succeeded by Phoebe Philo, her assistant. That same year was introduced See by Chloé, a younger line. The next year, Bracelet, one of the most iconic bags of the maison, was launched and the first shop in London was opened. Although Phoebe had a lot of success in 2004 she left and Paulo Melim, a Portuguese designer, became the creative director in 2006. In the mid time, in 2005 Paddington bag was introduced. Paulo wanted to do an about-turn and leave behind the vintage spirit of the House, which would became the reason why Hanna MacGibbon replaced him. During the Paulo Melim’s period were created another two perfumes: Chloé Eau de Perfume (2007) advertised by Chloë Sevigny, Clémence Poésy and Anja Rubik, and Love (2010).
As it was said before, in 2011 Hanna MacGibbon took the management of the creative department but soon after she quitted and Clare Waight Keller replaced her. She has returned the bohemian and chic look from the seventies to Chloé.