Year Founded: 1952
Headquarters: Paris, France
Company Website: chloe.com
History and Background
If you’re familiar with the terms prêt-à-porter or ready to wear, you have Gabi Aghion to thank for their very existence. Aghion and her business partner Jacques Lenoir coined the term when they launched Chloe in 1952 in Paris. It is said Aghion named the line Chloe after a friend who she felt embodied the carefree spirit of the modern young woman.
Prêt-à-porter was a clear and bold departure from haute couture which was popular at time. Aghion and Lenoir created high quality clothing that was more accessible to women off the rack. During the 1960s the brand became known for youth, femininity and romance – an esthetic that continues to this day. Gone were the stiff formal couture pieces and in came fluid clothing which flattered women’s bodies and moved with them.
No less than Karl Lagerfeld was appointed head designer in 1966 and he attracted a client list that included Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly.It was however not until 1971 that the first Chloe boutique was opened at 3 Rue Gribeauval, Paris. The 1970’s also saw the launch of the Chloe fragrance which continues to be a bestseller even today.
Chloe was acquired by Richemont group in 1985 and expanded into the international market. Bags, small leather goods and shoes were added to the company’s offerings in 2001. The brand has flourished under a range of creative directors including Martine Sitbon, Stella McCartney, Pheobe Philo, Paulo Melim Andersson and Hannah MacGibbon. It has been a favourite with celebrities like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Blake Lively and Mischa Barton.
Best Known For…
In 2004, then creative director Pheobe Philo created the Paddington bag and it became an instant hit with its distinctive padlock and detailed trim. For many young women it was their first high-end bag. The Paddington debuted at around $1 300 but when it was reintroduced eight years later for Chloe’s 60th anniversary, it cost $2 195.
As of 2017, you could acquire a brand new Mini Marcie Bag for $890 and the Faye Shoulder Bag for $2 550. Discounted bags can be found at Tradesy for as little as $200 with the original Paddington going for around $360.
Best Bang For The Buck
The casual yet chic Mini Marcie is the perfect companion for any outfit. The round, structured bag is made from small grain calf skin and comes in a range of warm colors. It can be worn over the shoulder or cross-body for those days when you want your hands to be free.