Follow Vogue Arabia

Chloé Finds New CEO in Laurent Malecaze As Riccardo Bellini Exits

Laurent Malecaze. Photo: Getty

It’s all change at Chloé. Less than two months after naming a new creative director to replace Gabriela Hearst, the brand has appointed a new president and CEO to succeed Riccardo Bellini, who is leaving after four years.

Laurent Malecaze will join later this month from fellow Richemont-owned British luxury brand Dunhill, where he had been CEO since January 2022 — tasked with reviving its fortunes. Before that, he was at the helm of AZ Factory, the label founded by late designer Alber Elbaz (also owned by Richemont), and had a stint as CEO of US-based multi-brand retailer The Webster.

Richemont announced the change on Wednesday. “[Riccardo] has helped reconnect Chloé with its purpose, bringing a unique point of differentiation within the industry and laying the foundations for its next cycle of growth,” said Philippe Fortunato, CEO of Richemont’s fashion and accessories maisons, in a statement.

Bellini became CEO of the Richemont-owned fashion house in December 2019, joining from Maison Margiela where he had been CEO since 2017. During his tenure at Chloé, he navigated the Covid period and pursued a brand elevation strategy, cancelling its secondary line See by Chloé. He also tapped Hearst, who presented her first collection as Chloé creative director in March 2021.

Hearst’s focus on sustainability — supported by Bellini — led to the company achieving B Corp status in October 2021, introducing a social impact measurement tool in 2022, and launching a resale program using digital IDs for improved transparency in 2023. In July, Chloé announced that Hearst was stepping down as creative director; her last collection, for Spring/Summer 2024, was presented during Paris Fashion Week in September.

In October 2023, Bellini named Chemena Kamali as Hearst’s successor. The German designer began her career at Chloé and was most recently design director for women’s ready-to-wear at Saint Laurent since July 2016. Kamali is due to present her first collection for Chloé during Paris Fashion Week in February.

“Today Chloé has the solid foundations to continue to grow bigger and stronger and I am fully confident that Chemena Kamali as new creative director will unlock the full potential of the maison,” Bellini said in the release.

Richemont’s fashion business has been hard hit by the wider luxury slowdown. In the quarter ending September 30, sales at the “other” division, which includes Chloé, Alaïa, Montblanc and Delvaux, were roughly in line with the same period last year. That’s a strong deceleration compared to the fiscal year ending 31 March 2023, when the “other division” rose 19 per cent to €2.7 billion. By comparison, LVMH’s fashion and leather goods division reported sales up 9 per cent for the quarter ending September 30, 2023.

According to estimates by Morgan Stanley analyst Edouard Aubin, Chloé’s annual sales were €660 million for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2023, up from €485 million in that ending March 31, 2020.

Originally published in

View All
Vogue Collection