10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Clare Waight Keller’

In the world of fashion, there are few names as resonant as Clare Waight Keller. As the first female artistic director at Givenchy, Keller is renowned for her craftsmanship, elegance, and the clear commitment to redefining fashion norms. Despite her high-profile role and grand accomplishments, there are still many intriguing facets about Keller and her journey that remain surprisingly unknown. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about ‘Clare Waight Keller’.

1. She Studied Art Before Fashion

Even though she is best known for her fashion design remit, Clare’s first academic pursuit veered towards fine arts, rather than fashion. She studied Art at Birmingham Polytechnic and later went on to pursue a Master’s program at The Royal College of Art. It was there that she was introduced to knitwear and textiles, which kindled her interest in fashion design.

Considering the artistry of her designs, it’s clearly evident that her background in fine art has greatly influenced her approach to fashion. This unusual path into the industry has allowed her to offer a unique perspective and distinctive aesthetic sensibility in her designs.

2. She Began Her Career as a Menswear Designer

While Keller is renowned for creating iconic women’s wear (remember Meghan Markle’s wedding gown?), her roots began in the realm of menswear. After completing her master’s, Keller started her career designing men’s clothing for esteemed label Calvin Klein. This early experience played a pivotal role in refining Keller’s sartorial vision and added an unexpected twist to her design journey.

Fascinatingly, this initial experience has permeated her design ethos, leading her to often experiment with androgynous styles, merging the line between feminine and masculine fashion elements. This gender-fluid approach has added an intriguing layer to her creative output and further distinguishes her in the world of high fashion.

3. She Remained Largely Unknown Until Her Groundbreaking Work at Givenchy

Despite having a highly impressive career trajectory that includes working with top fashion houses like Gucci and Ralph Lauren, Keller remained relatively unknown within the wider public eye well into her career. It wasn’t until her appointment as the first female artistic director at French luxury fashion house Givenchy in 2017 that she gained widespread recognition.

Her tenure singlehandedly put her on the map of fashion’s pivotal players and transformed her from a cult fashion figure into a global name. Particularly, her design of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress, which was applauded for its sublime simplicity, escalated her fame to new heights.

4. She Grew Up in Birmingham, England

Born in Birmingham, England in 1970, Keller’s fascination with fashion design began at an early age. She shares that her interests in art and clothing design were fueled by her grandmother’s homemade clothes and the vibrant fashion scene of the 1980s.

Despite moving and living in several international cities throughout her career, Clare has always maintained strong ties with her hometown, which has perhaps grounded her amidst her global fashion career.

5. She Is A Mother of Three

One of the less publicly-known aspects of Keller’s life is her role as a mother to three children. Throughout her career, she has been adroitly juggling her high-profile job with the demands of raising a family, testifying to her resilience and commitment.

Indeed, she once shared in an interview that her role as a mother has greatly influenced her professional life, adding depth, empathy, and a distinctive perception of femininity in her design ethos.

6. Her Design Philosophy Celebrates the Authenticity of Women

Keller’s sartorial philosophy is deeply rooted in celebrating the authenticity of women. She actively strives to create clothes that real women can wear and feel confident in. Steering clear from impractical or overly ostentatious designs, she focuses on clothes that reflect elegance and include functional elements.

This philosophy sets her apart in the realm of high fashion, aligning her more with the needs and minds of everyday women. She once said, “I think it’s really important today to talk about women in a realistic way,” admitting that this is something she aspires to achieve relentlessly through her designs.

7. Sustainability Plays A Pivotal Role In Her Design Ethos

In an industry notoriously recognized for its environmental implications, Keller brings a breath of fresh air. She has been vocal about incorporating sustainability and responsible sourcing in her design practices as she advocates for a more ethical fashion industry.

From managing her teams to selecting fabrics, she makes conscious decisions to ensure minimal environmental damage, balancing elegance and responsibility in a remarkable manner.

8. Her First Job was at a Fruit and Veg Stall

Before stepping into the glitz and glamour world of fashion, Keller’s first ever job was at a fruit and veg stall in Stratford-Upon-Avon. This experience, although stands starkly in contrast to where she is today, serves as a humble reminder of how far she has come.

It’s refreshing to see that despite her fame and acclaim, she remains grounded and remembers the roots from where she began her journey.

9. She has a Passion for Running

Alongside her high-octane career, Keller maintains an active interest in running. She has even participated in marathons and shares that running has become an integral part of her life, helping her to keep fit, both physically and mentally.

Her passion for running not only reflects her mentality to consistently push boundaries but also adds another dimension to the multifaceted woman behind stunning collections.

10. She Designed the Much-Applauded Givenchy Men’s Collection

Though she has earned a global recognition for designing women’s wear, one of her major breakthroughs came from men’s fashion. Keller unveiled the Givenchy men’s collection, which was widely applauded for its perfect blend of originality and classicism, marking yet another milestone in her career.

The success undeniably outlined her versatile talent, proving that Keller is no one-trick-pony but rather a creative chameleon capable of stunning in any design sphere.

Visit Clare Waight Keller’s official Instagram for more updates on her fascinating fashion journey. Clare Waight Keller’s Instagram

Explore the Givenchy’s official website to peruse the stunning collections designed by Clare. Givenchy’s Site