Meet Virginie Viard, the Chanel creative director who will replace Karl Lagerfeld.

Virginie Viard, Chanel’s new creative director, had been working with Lagerfeld for a very long period.
When it was revealed last night that one of the fashion world’s most recognisable characters, Karl Lagerfeld, had died in Paris at the age of 85, it was a sad day for the industry. Following the revelation, Chanel, which was previously led by Karl Lagerfeld, released a statement detailing their loss and outlining the company’s future. In order for the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld to continue, Alain Wertheimer has entrusted Virginie Viard, director of Chanel’s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeld’s closest collaborator for more than 30 years, with the creative work for the collections, according to a statement from the company. Despite having a long relationship with Lagerfeld, not much is known about Viard. Here is a quick fact sheet about Lagerfeld’s replacement in preparation for Paris Fashion Week.

—Virginie Viard began her career at the Chanel house as an embroidery intern. She then spent the next five years working for Chloé alongside Karl Lagerfeld before going back to Chanel.
Prior to working in fashion, Viard worked in costume design. She worked on the clothing design for enduring motion pictures like Three Colors Blue (1993) and Three Colors White (1994). After Chanel’s spring/summer 2019 presentation, she and Karl Lagerfeld took the stage for the bow. Lagerfeld was unable to attend the couture 2019 show, so Viard took the bow on his own.

—Viard discussed her work at Chanel in a rare interview with The Telegraph. “I oversee the teams, communicate with vendors, and select fabrics. Then, of course, Karl and I do fittings. I start the procedure as soon as I get his sketches. I work hard to win his approval, but I also enjoy surprising him.

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