Gaby Aghion

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Gaby Aghion
Gabrielle Hanoka

(1921-03-03)3 March 1921
Died27 September 2014(2014-09-27) (aged 93)
OccupationFashion designer
Known forFounder of Chloé
Raymond Aghion
(m. 1940; died 2009)
AwardsLegion of Honor

Gabrielle Aghion (née Hanoka;[1][2] 3 March 1921[3] – 27 September 2014) was a French fashion designer and the founder of the French fashion house Chloé. She is said to have coined the phrase "prêt-à-porter".[4]

Early life[edit]

Gabrielle Hanoka was born in Alexandria, Egypt,[5] the daughter of a cigarette factory manager. She met her husband, Raymond Aghion (1921–2009), when both were seven years old in elementary school. He was born into a wealthy family of cotton exporters, but displayed early stirrings of the social consciousness that would later land him in political exile. They were both Jewish and married at the age of 19, before moving to Paris in 1945. In Paris they gravitated toward the Communists, becoming close to writers Louis Aragon, Paul Éluard and Tristan Tzara.


Aghion launched Chloé in 1952. Raymond opened an art gallery in 1956, specializing in modern art.[6]

Aghion rejected the stiff formality of 1950s fashion[5] and created soft, feminine, body-conscious clothes from fine fabrics, calling them "luxury prêt-à-porter". Unique for their time, they were clothes available off the rack. She set up her workshop in a maid's room above her large flat. Aghion and Jacques Lenoir formed a partnership in 1953, with Lenoir taking charge of the business operations while Aghion took on the creative responsibilities.

The duo put on the first Chloé show in 1956 at a breakfast at the Café de Flore, an important place for young intellectual Parisians in the 1940s and 1950s.[7]

Aghion said: "Everything was yet to be invented, and this thrilled me." She hired Karl Lagerfeld early in his career, along with other emerging fashion designers.[8] Her son, Philippe, recalls Lagerfeld coming to the company in the mid-1960s: "When he arrived from [the house of] Jean Patou, Karl was a shy individual. He and my mother made a fantastic team. He came into the spirit of Chloé."[6]

Aghion continued to run Chloé until 1985, when it was bought by Dunhill Holdings (now Compagnie Financière Richemont Group).[5] She died in Paris on 27 September 2014.[9][10]

In October 2023, the Jewish Museum in New York will hold Mood of the moment: Gaby Aghion and the house of Chloé, the first museum exhibition detailing Aghion's work.[11]



  1. ^ "Raymond Aghion & Gabrielle, "Gaby" Hanoka". Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  2. ^ Alexandrie Info n° 35, décembre 2010. "Decès: Raymond Aghion, à Paris le 24 juin 2009, à l'âge de 88 ans; Raymond avait épousé Gaby Aghion, née Gabrielle Hanoka."
  3. ^ "HANOKA Gabriella". Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  4. ^ Chloé: A 60-Year Tradition of Pretty Prêt-à-Porter Archived 25 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Lauren Cochrane. The Guardian, 2 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Socha, Miles (2 December 2013). "Chloé Founder to Receive Legion of Honor". WWD. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b Then And Now. Gaby Aghion founder and Clare Waight Keller designer of Chloe SA. Diderich, Joelle. Women's Wear Daily, 28 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Maison Chloé - Chloé Official Website". Chloé Official Website. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  8. ^ Chloé at 60: the story of a fashion legend. The Guardian, 2 October 2012.
  9. ^ Hakim, Danny (28 September 2014). "Gaby Aghion, Founder of Chloé Fashion House, Dies at 93". New York Times.
  10. ^ Horwell, Veronica (28 September 2014). "Gaby Aghion obituary". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "Mood of the moment: Gaby Aghion and the house of Chloé". The Jewish Museum. Retrieved 20 August 2023.

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