22 Feb Meet Chanel Successor, Virginie Viard
Chanel has officially announced a successor after losing its legendary artistic director, Karl Lagerfeld. Fashion world, meet Virginie Viard. No stranger to the luxury French fashion house, Viard has been the right-hand and left-hand woman to Lagerfeld for over 30 years. According to Harper’s Bazaar, she was tasked with bringing Karl’s sketches to life and translating his creative vision into reality. This made Viard his close confidant and a very natural choice for the Creative Director role.
Virginie Viard, Karl Lagerfeld and Hudson Kroenig (Mr. Lagerfeld’s godson) at the Chanel Metiers d’Art show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
So who is Virginie Viard (in case you don’t already know)?
Started at Chanel as an Intern
She started her internship in 1987 and working for the haute couture embroidery department. Viard was later appointed Fashion Creation Studio Director and coordinated haute couture collections before moving to prêt-à-porter.
Her experience includes Costume Design for film
Starting in costume production as an assistant to costume designer and set decorator, Dominique Borg, who produced costumes for Camille Claudel, a famous French sculptor. Her work can be seen in two films, Three Colors: Blue (costumes) and Three Colors: White (wardrobe).
Silk fabrications is a part of Viard’s history
Viard, grew up in Lyon, France and is the eldest of 5 siblings. While her father is a ski champion turned surgeon her grandparents were silk manufacturers.
Expect trend free collections
Viard echoes Lagerfeld’s sentiments in believing “trend” to be a filthy word. According to The Business Times, Viard who is often seen wearing a jacket over slim black trousers, says she likes “fashion that lasts . . . clothes that actually aren’t in style.” In true Coco style, “Fashion changes, but style endures”.
Viard takes Chanel back to Coco Chanel’s vision for the brand
This will mark the first time a woman has held the creative director position at Chanel since Coco Chanel herself and is a true testament to Chanel’s vision, to always to build a brand for women by women. Viard will now join the ranks of Maria Grazia Chiuri (Dior). Two women leading the two biggest haute couture houses in the world.
Viard has the top seat at the atelier table and we are looking forward to bearing witness to her not only filling the shoes of a creative genius but to solidifying some chic “shoes” of her own.
Long live the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld. Welcome Virginie Viard.