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  Chloe
Chloé
Trés chic
by Vivian Manning-Schaffel
June 30, 2003

At 50 years old, the house of Chloé is still attractive among the A-list of fashion labels. One of the key luxury brands owned by Swiss-based Richemont Group, Chloé was established in 1952 by Parisian designers Jacques Lenoir and Gaby Aghion. Chic, sexy, and trés Francais, Chloé stood apart from its contemporaries with an aesthetic that was softer than the more structured silhouette of the day.

 
Over time, a small string of creative directors has transformed the brand. When Karl Lagerfeld held court as head designer in the 60s, he made quite an impact by infusing the bohemian flavor of the times into the clothes. After a quiet period, Stella McCartney joined the house of Chloé in the late 90s. Her modern, edgy designs became wildly popular among the younger fashion set, revitalizing the brand and reinstating Chloé’s status as the label to wear. Today’s creative director, Phoebe Philo, retains some of McCartney’s casual sensibility, but has also incorporated a bit of the boho vibe prevalent in Lagerfeld’s era, restoring a more feminine look to the brand.

 
 
Chloe We paid a visit to the Chloé.com atelier to see if the website provided users with a high-fashion experience worthy of the brand’s rich heritage.

Upon first visiting the site, a flash postcard teaser decorated with a few select images of the latest looks appears. This individual window, titled Chloé Private View Fashion House, acts as a cover page serving little purpose other than to welcome the visitor to the site and offer the option to bypass the next home page to view the latest collections or access essential Chloé information.

A click deeper into the site brings the visitor to the Essential home page, where all of the same information can be accessed, but is here displayed more attractively. Simulating the cover of a virtual look book, this page cleverly mimics a designer’s notebook, complete with clickable Polaroid shots and sticky notes that provide gateways to pages containing information about the company and its collections. A left-side navigation bar remains constant throughout the site, making it easy for the user to browse the content.

The Essential Collections page is a stylish assemblage consistent with the look of the home page. Here visitors can virtually view the catwalk. More clickable Polaroids marked with the dates of each collection lead to pages filled with thumbnail snapshots of each look, which can be enlarged for a more detailed view; additionally video snippets of the actual shows are available for viewing. The option of a pull-down menu offers a simple way to browse through the looks of each runway show.

 

Vivian Manning-Schaffel is a freelance writer who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

     
*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
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