2006 March 13

A Moment With Gaby Aghion

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Phoebe Philo and Gaby Aghion Phoebe Philo and Gaby Aghion
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(PARIS) The fashion community waited with bated breath this season over what would become of Chloé without Phoebe Philo. Technically, it was Philo’s second season away from the reigns—the designer took last fall off as well, choosing instead to sit front-row—though she had not yet resigned from the company.

Enormous changes at the last minute were all in a day’s work for Gaby Aghion, the Egyptian-born Parisian who founded the house of Chloé in 1952. Moments before the first look hit the runway, The Daily caught up with the petite fashion legend, who sold the company in 1985.

How did you come up with the name Chloé?
A friend of mine had that name, and I thought it was pretty. I could not put my name on the label because at that time you couldn’t do that. Mythologically, Chloé was a goddess—a wicked woman. But I’m not wicked; I have been strong.

What’s your most memorable Chloé moment?
I don’t have one really. Perhaps only that it was a very important adventure. There was only couture back when we started and we were among the first to create ready to wear, elegant ready to wear. Now everybody wants to be successful. To be a success you must work a lot; people don’t understand that.

What was your take on Phoebe Philo?
I thought Phoebe was very nice. I don’t know why she didn’t stay. I told her to be careful because you don’t make a career in one or two years. I took a lot of years to be Chloé.

Are you happy with how Chloé turned out?
I think [Ralph] Toledano is running the business in a nice way, because for a few years there, it was not so good.

Do you ever think about going back to Chloé?
When I sold Chloé, I sold Chloé. I touch nothing else. The adventure of fashion continues to interest me—but only as a spectator.

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