Virginie Viard Steps Down as Chanel Creative Director

It is perhaps the most unexpected and most shocking fashion news of 2024: Virginie Viard is leaving Chanel. The announcement came only weeks after the house of Chanel praised Viard’s direction, following reports revenue increased 16% to a staggering $19.7 billion in 2023.

Virginie began her lengthy career at Chanel in 1985, as in embroidery intern to the haute couture atelier and caught the attention of the late Karl Lagerfeld. Viard ultimately became Lagerfeld’s right hand woman over the decades, forming a close personal relationship with the famed German designer. After a brief stint at Chloé with Lagerfeld in 1992, Viard returned to Chanel in 1997 and became director of Chanel’s creation studio in 2000. Viard succeeded the world-famous designer as creative director upon his passing in 2019. Fast forward to 2024 and Viard is closing the chapter on her time at Chanel at the end of June.

As planned, the French designer’s upcoming Fall 2024 Haute Couture collection will be presented as planned during the Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week festivities on June 25 and is set to be Viard’s farewell.

Revisit below Virginie Viard’s first Chanel collection for Cruise 2020:

Read below the reactions of theFashionSpot’s forum members:

“I am GAGGED…” [fenty]

“OMG, that caught me by surprise!” [Olaffo]

“I was not expecting this, despite wanting it so much! Gagged!” [Ihhbl]

“I can’t believe this. I bet it’s because of Virginie Viard wanting to leave. The executives were beyond happy with her performance!” [helmutnotdead]

“I am surprised. Why would Vaird leave when Chanel is making money?” [AFWQ]

“It was about time. Enjoy your retirement! It makes me wonder whether clients will even bother buying the next few collections she designed?” [FiLReD]

“Well, it happened. Don’t actually feel anything about this except I thought Virginie was at Chanel for longer than 5 years (says more about her design capacity than anything really).” [Cocteau Stone]

“Good for her. I can’t imagine the pressure and stress she must have been under these past few years. it was no easy feat taking over for Karl. Hopefully the next designer will be able to handle it, because this job is a full time commitment.” [GivenchyHomme]

“We have to give her credit where credit is due, Virginie Viard worked with Karl for decades. She put in her time at Chanel.” [blueorchid]

“You know, there’s something about Chanel’s way of management that I adore. They are direct and to the point, and take the right decisions at the right time. It was right to appoint Viard as CD after Karl. And it is the right time for change now.” [Creative]

Read all the reactions to Virginie Viard leaving Chanel and join the on-going conversation, here.

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