Virginie Viard Exits Chanel, Leaving Top Fashion Job Open

Virginie Viard Exits Chanel, Leaving Top Fashion Job Open

THE WHAT?  Virginie Viard has exited her role as Chanel’s artistic director of fashion collections, a position she has held since Karl Lagerfeld’s death in 2019. Viard’s departure marks the end of her decades-long association with the French luxury house.

THE DETAILS  Chanel confirmed Viard’s departure, acknowledging her contributions to the brand’s fashion, creativity, and vitality. Viard, who started as an intern in 1987 and became Lagerfeld’s deputy, was instrumental in renewing Chanel’s codes while honoring its heritage. Chanel’s CEO, Leena Nair, highlighted the significant growth during Viard’s tenure, noting that the fashion business multiplied by 2.2 and ready-to-wear sales grew by 23% last year. Chanel’s earnings rose 16% to $19.7 billion in 2023. The brand will announce Viard’s successor “in due course,” her final collection will be showcased at Paris Haute Couture week in June.

THE WHY? Viard’s departure from Chanel follows a series of high-profile moves in the fashion industry, indicating a period of significant transition among luxury brands. Her leadership not only sustained but also amplified Chanel’s legacy, driving substantial growth. The anticipation surrounding her successor reflects the importance of the role in shaping the future direction of one of fashion’s most iconic houses.