Following the death of the legendary Karl Lagerfeld yesterday, the house of Chanel has announced his successor will be Virginie Viard.
In a statement on Instagram, Chanel announced, ‘Virginie Viard, Director of CHANEL’s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeld’s closest collaborator for more than 30 years, has been entrusted by Alain Wertheimer with the creative work for the collections, so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on.’
The move doesn’t come as a surprise as she worked closely with Karl since 1987, and she was the one who took a bow the end of the collection at Haute Couture Fashion Week in January, when it was announced that the designer was too tired to do it.
Virginie interned at Chanel in 1987, before moving to Chloé with Karl in 1992. They both returned to Chanel five years later, where she took on the role of coordinator for haute couture, and then ready-to-wear.
Karl Lagerfeld passed away at the age of 85 and is mourned by the fashion world. Chanel issued the following statement, ‘An extraordinary creative individual, Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the brand’s codes created by Gabrielle Chanel: the CHANEL jacket and suit, the little black dress, the precious tweeds, the two-tone shoes, the quilted handbags, the pearls and costume jewelry.
‘Regarding Gabrielle Chanel, he said, “My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done. The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things.” A prolific creative mind with endless imagination, Karl Lagerfeld explored many artistic horizons, including photography and short films. The House of CHANEL benefited from his talent for all the branding campaigns related to Fashion since 1987. Finally, one cannot refer to Karl Lagerfeld without mentioning his innate sense of repartee and self-mockery.’