Karl Lagerfeld's successor Virginie Viard steps down as creative director of Chanel

Juliette Morgan
Karl Lagerfeld's successor Virginie Viard steps down as creative director of Chanel

Virginie Viard is leaving the post of creative director of Chanel, which she took up in 2019 after the death of Karl Lagerfeld, Vogue reports.

Viard worked at Chanel for more than 37 years. In 1987, she got an internship at the embroidery studio of a fashion house, and four years later she began working directly with Karl Lagerfeld. At first she was responsible for choosing fabrics, and later became collection coordinator. Lagerfeld introduced Viard to the public shortly before his death, after the Chanel show in 2019, when he took her bow with her.

Виржини Виар и Карл Лагерфельд после показа Chanel весна-лето — 2019/Фото: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Виржини Виар и Карл Лагерфельд после показа Chanel весна-лето — 2019/Фото: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

“Chanel confirms the departure of Virginie Viard after an intense five-year collaboration as artistic director of fashion collections, during which she was able to update the codes of the house, respecting the creative heritage of Chanel, and after thirty years of work at the house,” the brand said in a statement. — A new creative director will be announced soon. Chanel thanks Virginie Viard for her outstanding contribution to Chanel's fashion, creativity and vitality."

Виржини Виар/Фото: Alessandro Lucioni/Gorunway
Виржини Виар/Фото: Alessandro Lucioni/Gorunway

In recent years, Viard has often been criticized for releasing unsuccessful collections. The latest Chanel cruise show, held on the roof of a residential building in Marseille, was discussed especially negatively online. Fashion critics called it a failure. After Lagerfeld's death, Chanel stopped organizing flashy shows with unusual locations and set design, as it had previously, and many noted that it was high time for the brand to change its management. Despite the dissatisfaction with Virginie's work, financially everything is in order at Chanel. For 2023, the brand noted a 16% increase in revenue, amounting to 19.7 billion euros. Over the past 10 years, the fashion house's turnover has doubled, and in 5 years the distribution network has doubled.

Один из последних показов Chanel под руководством Карла Лагерфельда, осень-зима — 2018/Фото: Yannis Vlamos/Indigital
Один из последних показов Chanel под руководством Карла Лагерфельда, осень-зима — 2018/Фото: Yannis Vlamos/Indigital

The network has also long been discussing who can replace Virginie Viard at the fashion house and “breathe life” into Chanel. Among the main candidates are Hedi Slimane, who worked at Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and currently heads Celine, Pierpaolo Piccioli, who recently left Valentino after 25 years of work, and even John Galliano, who seems to be doing well at Maison Margiela.

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