by Kacey Michault
  • 1 minute read
  • June 06, 2024
Virginie Viard leaves Chanel after 30 years of working for the House

After a 30-year tenure at Chanel, Virginie Viard, who has been at the helm as the creative director for the past five years, is stepping down. Viard took on the significant role following the death of the iconic Karl Lagerfeld, who personally selected her as his successor. She is only the third creative director in Chanel’s history, following Lagerfeld and Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel.

Chanel announced her departure on Wednesday, stating, “Chanel confirms the departure of Virginie Viard after a successful five-year collaboration as the artistic director of fashion collections. She renewed the brand’s codes while honouring Chanel’s creative legacy.” The luxury fashion house has yet to name her successor.

Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard. Image: Chanel

During her time as creative director, Viard faced both acclaim and critique. Under her leadership, Chanel’s revenue soared to nearly $20 billion in 2023. She introduced a more subdued and youthful aesthetic to the brand, contrasting Lagerfeld’s flamboyant style. Her designs often featured bow ties, shorts, and 80s-inspired silhouettes, resonating with a younger audience. Viard also collaborated with notable celebrities like Lily-Rose Depp, Timothée Chalamet, Jennie from Blackpink, and Riley Keough.

Chanel expressed gratitude for Viard’s contributions: “We would like to thank Virginie Viard for her remarkable contribution to Chanel’s fashion creativity and vitality.” Viard joined Chanel in 1987 and worked closely with Lagerfeld for decades.

Virginie Viard. Image: Chanel

Her exit follows the recent industry shakeup at Valentino’s, where it’s former creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli was recently succeeded by Alessandro Michele replaced from Gucci. This has fueled rumours that Piccioli could be in the running to be Viard’s successor at Chanel.

Despite the changes, Chanel’s upcoming Autumn/Winter 2024 collection runway show will proceed as scheduled on June 25th at the Opéra Garnier in Paris.

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