Chanel has named Virginie Viard, Karl Lagerfeldâ€™s trusted collaborator to take over the late artistic designerâ€™s spotlight. The announcement was made by the French fashion house on Tuesday, following the death of the legendary designer. Viard has reportedly worked as Lagerfeldâ€™s companion for more than 30 years and is viewed by many as Lagerfeldâ€™s most trusted aide and protege â€“ or, as Chanel put it, 'his closest collaborator'.Â
For most of his time as the artistic director at Chanel, Lagerfeld had worked alongside Viard and has also taken bows alongside him at the end of many recent shows, including the Spring 2019 haute couture collection. The announcement of Viard as Lagerfeldâ€™s next in line was posted on the official handle of the French fashion line account that read, â€˜â€™Virginie Viard, Director of CHANELâ€™s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeldâ€™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 onâ€™.
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It is with deep sadness that the House of CHANEL announces the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director for the CHANEL Fashion House since 1983. An extraordinary creative individual, Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the brandâ€™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, â€œMy 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.â€ 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. Alain Wertheimer, CEO of CHANEL, said: â€œThanks to his creative genius, generosity and exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the House of CHANELâ€™s success throughout the world. Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand.â€ Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at CHANEL, said: â€œFashion show after fashion show, collection after collection, Karl Lagerfeld left his mark on the legend of Gabrielle Chanel and the history of the House of CHANEL. He steadfastly promoted the talent and expertise of CHANELâ€™s ateliers and MÃ©tiers dâ€™Art, allowing this exceptional know-how to shine throughout the world. The greatest tribute we can pay today is to continue to follow the path he traced by â€“ to quote Karl â€“ â€˜continuing to embrace the present and invent the futureâ€™.â€ Virginie Viard, Director of CHANELâ€™s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeldâ€™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.
LVMH-owned Italian house Fendi, where Lagerfeld was the artistic director of women's ready-to-wear and couture collections, is, however, yet to announce a succession plan sating that it intends to takes its time paying respect first of all to the legendary designer.Â