Meghan Markle’s wedding dress designer Clare Waight Keller has announced that she is leaving Givenchy after three years as artistic director.
The 49-year-old, who was the first woman to run the designer couture brand, has gained even greater prominence outside the fashion industry in recent years, during which time she has grown to become the designer. one of Meghan’s most sporty designers. .
But it was the former actress’ wedding dress that really made Clare a household name, after Meghan married Prince Harry in May 2018 in front of the world while wearing one of the designer’s creations. British.
End of an era: Clare Waight Keller, the woman who designed Meghan Markle‘s wedding dress, announced she was stepping down as head of Givenchy after three years
Moving on: The 49-year-old, who became the first woman to lead the French couture brand in 2017, confirmed the news of her departure on Friday
Since then, Meghan, 38, has worn a number of Givenchy de Clare models – turning to the brand to dress her up for many important engagements, including her June 2018 release at Ascot alongside the Queen.
In December 2018, Meghan made it clear how close the two women had become when she made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards, where she presented Clare with the prestigious British Womenswear Designer of the Year award.
The Duchess of Sussex, who was pregnant with her son Archie at the time, looked stunning in a one-shoulder Givenchy gown, which fully showed her bump.
On stage, Meghan spoke of her very personal connection to fashion, noting “we have a deep connection with what we wear”.
“Sometimes it’s deeply personal, sometimes it’s emotional,” she continued, before praising Clare’s “kindness” and “values”.
Once on stage, the creator was equally complimentary of the former royal, saying: “This woman is so amazing. I got to know Meghan on such a personal level.
“To have someone like that trust you at such a personal time in their life … I can’t thank you enough because it was the most beautiful time.”
World famous: Clare and Meghan are close friends, and in December 2018 a pregnant Meghan made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards to present the designer with an award
Bond: The two spoke a lot at the star-studded event, with Meghan praising Clare’s ‘kindness’ and ‘values’
Favorite: Meghan has worn Clare’s Givenchy designs on several occasions, including during an official engagement at Ascot in June 2018, when she and Prince Harry joined the Queen
According to WWD, who broke the news of Clare’s departure, her decision to step down comes at the end of her initial three-year contract, and follows the recent debut of her latest collection for the brand, which was featured on the catwalks at Paris Fashion Week on March 1, shortly before the coronavirus outbreak shut down much of Europe.
The show, which starred supermodel Kaia Gerber, daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford, received many positive reviews from critics – though she faced mixed public criticism in January when she performed. launched a new wedding dress design at Paris Couture Week.
The majority of style lovers were blown away by the design, which was modeled by Kaia, with a gush: “Such a beautiful moment but I don’t know what to say.
Others have dubbed it “perfection” and breathtaking.
However, other style fans were less impressed and complained that even the nimble Kaia looked “huge”.
Clare did not explain the reasons for her departure from the brand while making a statement about her departure, which was given to WWD, simply saying that her time at Givenchy was “one of the highlights” of his career.
“Focusing on a world based on haute couture has been one of the highlights of my professional journey,” said Birmingham-born Clare.
Special: Meghan’s dress reportedly cost around $ 250,000 and featured a gorgeous 15ft veil embroidered with 53 Commonwealth flowers
“I have shared so many incredible moments with the brilliant workshops and design teams at Givenchy: your exceptional talent and dedication will be remembered forever.
“My sincere thanks go to each of the unsung heroes and heroines behind the scenes, for their contribution of the product to communication and retail, as well as to every member of the global team, partner and supplier between of them.”
Clare, who gave no indication of her next steps, began her career as a stylist for Calvin Klein in New York City, before joining Ralph Lauren.
In 2000, she was hired by Tom Ford for a position at Gucci, where she was responsible for women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, a position she held for four years.
A year later she moved to Pringle of Scotland, where – her bio notes from Givenchy – she “redefined the style and heritage of the knitwear house”, winning the title of Designer of the Year at Scottish Fashion. Awards in 2007.
In 2011, she moved to Paris to take on the role of Creative Director at Chloé, a role that has truly helped define her career, while consolidating her status as one of the world’s most sought-after designers.
Bow: Clare’s last collection for the brand was the Fall / Winter 2020 line, which made its runway debut at Paris Fashion Week in March, when Kaia Gerber stole the show.
Embarrassing: Two months earlier, Clare debuted this wedding dress design at Paris Couture Fashion Week. The design received mixed reviews from the public
Controversial: Some people praised the “stunning” design, while others were less rave about Clare’s creation
She moved to Givenchy in 2017, and since then she has amassed a legion of famous fans, including Ariana Grande and Gal Gadot.
A year after joining the brand, Clare was chosen by Meghan to design her wedding dress – in what many saw as a rather surprising decision from the Duchess of Sussex.
The designer of the dress remained a well-kept secret until the day of the ceremony, when royal fans around the world were treated to their first glimpse of the beautiful bride – and her magnificent silk gown, which left the mark on the scene. Prince Harry in tears when he first saw his future wife.
An emotional Harry told his bride “you are gorgeous” after walking down the aisle in the classic pure white silk gown, complete with a 15-foot veil embroidered with Commonwealth flowers.
The custom creation is estimated at $ 250,000, including $ 97,000 for the custom fabric and $ 5,000 for the fittings.
The veil was in silk tulle with a hand-embroidered flower border in silk threads and organza, while the look was completed with a Cartier bracelet and earrings and a Queen Mary diamond bandeau tiara, on loan. by the queen.