Scroll down for updates to this story.
Just four days into the new year, the game of designer musical chairs has brought its first major change: Designer Clare Waight Keller is out at Chloé, according to a report by Reuters.
Sources indicate Keller declined to renew her contract, having recently moved her family back to London where she grew tired of the commute to Paris. It is a problem Chloé has faced before, when British designer Phoebe Philo left the brand in 2006 to focus on raising her then-young children. Waight Keller's contract is up in March, with no word on where she might head next.
As has been rumored since December, her replacement is reportedly Natacha Ramsay-Levi, senior director at Louis Vuitton and right-hand to Nicolas Ghesquière. She has worked with Ghesquière since his early days at Balenciaga. Her importance to the designer should not be understated; sources who formerly worked at Louis Vuitton told Reuters that Ramsay-Levi "was the only person the studio's designers and assistants regularly spoke to, as Ghesquière rarely interacted with them directly." Ghesquière himself has been rumored to have one foot out the door, too, telling French talk show "Le Petit Journal" that he wanted to design his own line — and "soon" — back in June.
Fashionista has reached out to both Chloé and Louis Vuitton for comment and will update as we learn more.
Update Jan. 30, 2017: Chloé has confirmed in a press release that Waight Keller will depart the brand following her fall 2017 runway show, set for March 2 in Paris, with a party to follow.
"After six extraordinary years at Chloé I would like to thank Geoffroy and all my colleagues for their enormous efforts over the past years," said Waight Keller in a statement. "Working for this Maison has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. Chloé is a brand with values close to my heart and I have truly enjoyed working with some of the best talents in the industry. I feel privileged to have worked for a Maison with such a heritage and I am very proud of all that has been achieved."
"Clare has been a remarkable partner at Chloé over the past six years," Chloé president Geoffroy De La Bourdonnaye said in a statement. "She helped rejuvenate the legacy of Gaby Aghion, the first ever Chloé girl, by infusing a cool and easy breeze into the Chloé wardrobe, effortlessly mixing graceful and feminine 'flou' with a free-wheeling and boyish take on tailoring."
The brand said the decision was made "by mutual agreement" and had no comment on the Natacha Ramsay-Levi rumors.