Generally speaking, when a designers contract is not renewed it’s one of two things. The designer either wants to go off and explore new challenges or the design house requires a new aesthetic vision (aka they wanna leave vs getting kicked out to the streets).
I suspect that after twelve years of Riccardo Tisci’s tenure (which is long anyways cuz not everyone can crank out fashion like the machine that is Karl- but more on him later) a new creative vision was needed. Under Tisci, Givenchy was mostly a world of dark romanticism that often took a subversive twist, which can be a bit too fringe for wider consumer tastes.
Adding to that, Givenchy has never had the same clout as other French luxury brands when it comes to their bag offerings, and you know which brands I’m referring to. Bags are like the perfect opportunity for brands to really inflate their bottom line considering it’s less fussy than trying to fit into some slick designer pants, that is, if you can afford it!
It’s the reason why LMVH, the corporate umbrella of Givenchy brought in Clare Waight Keller to animate Givenchy bags with her skill and talent [read: make it more mainstream]. With commercial hits at Chloé such as the Hudson and Faye bags, the move is like two jigsaw puzzle pieces are coming together between brand and designer.
Givenchy is already putting some heavy eggs into the Waight Keller basket. For example, on Givenchy’s website, The GV3 bag is nestled firmly as an iconic bag alongside bag bread winners – Pandora, Antigona and more recently, the Horizon tote which is still feeling its way in the market. The ‘GV3’, coined after Givenchy’s historic landmark address in France, is a boxy shaped chain-strapped shoulder bag with a fold over flap and three accordian-style compartments except for the Nano size which only has one, understandably. Maybe it’s in the photography or lighting, but the GV3 in the black goatskin looks completely underwhelming in the images that I’ve seen (read: B O R I N G). It’s way more flattering in two starkly contrasting textures of suede and leather like this one, in the most beautiful regal blue.
The GV3 comes in Medium, Small, Nano and Mini and all of them come with leather straps except for the Nano, which has a vintage-esque gold or silver shoulder chain which gives off a nostalgic vibe. The practicality of wearing the bag four ways is a BIG winner, who doesn’t want value? You can wear it on the arm, on the shoulder (of course), cross-body, or as an evening clutch.
Another bonus about the GV3 (but only for the Nano) is that it includes a feature that the industry is obsessed with right now: belt bag capabilities (two belt loops are stitched on the back). I can see this being a flexible proposition for those who want to dip their toes in the belt bag look maybe not today, but perhaps later when mood fluctuates towards the ‘let’s give this a go’ mentality’, as so often happens when deliberating fashion choices. The GV3 bag overall isn’t a wow, but more like passe in that it is pleasant. It definitely doesn’t have the kind of unique detailing that made the Chloé Hudson bag appealing for the boheme girl though.
So what do you guys think of Waight Keller’s talents being translated from Chloé to Givenchy two seasons in? We’d like to know! Available on NET-A-PORTER and Givenchy stores worldwide.