Is Chloé looking for a successor to Natacha Ramsay-Levi?
Feb 18, 2020
Is Chloé preparing for life after Natacha Ramsay-Levi? According to some sources, the new CEO of the French label owned by the Richemont group is looking for a successor to Chloé’s current creative director for ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories.
Contacted by FashionNetwork.com, a spokesperson for Chloé dismissed the rumours: “We would like to formally deny these allegations.”
Since Ramsay-Levi took charge of style at Chloé, she has boosted the accessories range by introducing jewellery and shoes, but the arrival of a new CEO, Riccardo Bellini, formerly with Maison Margiela, at the end of 2019, may explain the rumours circulating in the industry about a possible change at Chloé.
Ramsay-Levi is regarded as “too discreet,” according to sources within Chloé. She graduated from the Studio Berçot fashion institute, and was the right-hand woman of Nicolas Ghesquière for 15 years at Balenciaga, then at Louis Vuitton. She joined Chloé in April 2017 to replace Clare Waight Keller, now the creative director of Givenchy. From the outset, Ramsay-Levi claimed the approach that guided her was “not to revolutionise Chloé, but to make [it] evolve,” and to “breathe into it an aesthetic that is at the same time sophisticated and casual, striking a balance between a soft and a strong feminine style.”
However, it seems this formula isn’t quite working out. Sales are reportedly slumping, compared to those recorded under Ramsay-Levi's predecessors Clare Waight Keller and Phoebe Philo. Asked about this, some US buyers said that prices are too high for the target clientèle’s purse. The trend was confirmed by the financial results filed by French company Chloé Soc, which covers only part of the label's business and which, in the last few years, has been recording double-digit losses. The Paris-based company reported a revenue of €91 million for its non-standard financial year closed at the end of March 2019, compared to €215 million a year earlier. Between 2017 and 2018, Chloé Soc posted a 38.29% revenue downturn.
Within Richemont, the results of the group’s fashion labels are reported in the ‘Other Business’ category, which accounts for 13% of total revenue, with brands like Dunhill, Peter Millar, Montblanc, Alaïa and Serapian. In September 2019, Chloé said it was operating 228 monobrand stores, of which 124 were directly managed. According to Richemont’s latest 2019 annual report, the ‘Other Business’ category generated a revenue of €1.88 billion, equivalent to a 2% increase, but posted losses for €100 million.
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