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Article: Bringing Boho Back: The New Chloé Woman, by Chemena Kamali.

Bringing Boho Back: The New Chloé Woman, by Chemena Kamali.

One of the most anticipated debuts in fashion. 

In a moment in fashion when creative directors change like a game of musical chairs, Chemena Kamali seems to have hit the bullseye with the first shot at capturing the beloved essence of Chloé clothing.

Fashion reports still talk about her runway show. Models still celebrate their steps in the designer's debut. In a world of dizzying speed, where everything once new quickly consolidates and passes with astonishing swiftness, leaving a mark on a debut is a feat in itself.

But what has made this runway show cause the biggest impact of the season? Let's talk about the roots, the intricacies, and the path ahead for Chloé by Chemena Kamali.

The Intuition

Her first runway show, titled Intuition, is dedicated to the art of dressing intuitively. To freshness, spontaneity, good humour. Dedicated to her father, who passed away just weeks before, and with a whole constellation of the brand's muses from its different eras sitting in the front row, Chemena Kamali's first runway show for Chloé flowed smoothly and effortlessly.

The final bow, accompanied by a standing ovation and Chemena's son stepping from his seat onto the runway, was a moment that went viral for all the right reasons. In a strange time, where we don't know the immediate path our story will take, Kamali's debut seemed to radiate optimism in every gesture.

Each one of the models’ steps, every accessory, every undulating move of those endless ruffles, every vintage lace blouse. All with the embrace of her son as a grand improvised finale, a continuation of a new story that brings Chloé back to the roots of Gaby Aghion (its founder).

The Homecoming

Chemena Kamali's journey (Dusseldorf, 1981) began at Chloé. From intern to working under the creative direction of Phoebe Philo, Hannah MacGibbon, and then Claire Waight Keller, Kamali assimilated the essence of Chloé in its different stages from within.

For twenty years, with a break from 2016 to 2022 to work closely with Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent, the designer got to know the brand from the inside. Thus, when she was appointed creative director of Chloé on October 9, 2023, it marked the closing of a life cycle.

Or perhaps, opened a completely new one altogether.

The Nostalgia

Kamali's final school thesis was adorned with images from Vogue France from the late '70s. Those same pages she had been tasked with unearthing and consulting for Phoebe Philo's mood boards in her early days at the brand (Vogue France).

This nostalgia now permeates the designer's work. Or rather, it shapes it. Her admiration for Vogue’s older images and Karl Lagerfeld's collections (her childhood inspiration in Germany) all have a common thread: women's comfort. Chloé's essence since its foundation has always been a counterpoint to the couturiers of the moment, seeking clothes in which women could 'do something'. 

From the famous editorials of 1970s France to present-day Chloé clothing, what Chemena longs for and champions in her new collections is that they were always portrayed in action. Models, celebrities weren't posed or in a passive attitude. They were in the midst of a gesture, a jump, a journey. They were living in the real world, which has always made Chloé one of the most admired brands.

Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles was a backdrop in Chemena's life both in her youth and in a short stay with her family before her new chapter as creative director of the house. The city's freshness and connection with nature, its relaxed pace of life, and close proximity to the beach are key to the new Chloé.

That's not to mention the huge influence of the boho-chic spirit in the house. Chloé clothing has always been fresh, comfortable, manageable, feminine, romantic, airy, wearable... Behind the maison's teams, there has always been a spirit of 'wearability'. From the studies of young women’ streetstyle by Karl Lagerfeld to Phoebe Philo's fittings of her own designs.

As the stage for major music festivals and the Woodstock movement, California's hippie spirit now serves as a great channel for Chloé's energy. In a house founded on the principles of comfort and spontaneity, Chemena Kamali returns us to the roots of a creator who lives the authentic journey of the Chloé woman.

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