Fashion / Fashion News

Virginie Viard is exiting the House of CHANEL

This morning, we've woken to some pretty surprising news in the fashion world, as French fashion House CHANEL confirms the departure of their creative director Virginie Viard.

Viard held the reigns at CHANEL for five years as artistic director of fashion collections, but has spent almost thirty years in total at the House – many under the patronage of Karl Lagerfeld.

While the news does feel surprising given Viard's short tenure at CHANEL (compared only to her two predecessors Lagerfeld and Gabrielle Chanel herself), the designer joins a suite of creative directors changing seats at some of the most luxurious brands in the world.

But now that we've swallowed the news, there are a few more important questions on our mind...


Why is she leaving?

There's no official word as to why Viard is leaving, although CHANEL made their official statement last night: "Chanel confirms the departure of Virginie Viard after a rich collaboration of five years as Artistic Director of Fashion collections, during which she was able to renew the codes of the House while respecting the creative heritage of Chanel, and almost thirty years within the House."


What does this mean?

As sad as we are to have not had a chance to see a farewell collection from Viard at CHANEL (her farewell collection now retrospectively her Cruise 2024 collection shown last month in Marseille), it excitingly means we might see her move elsewhere.

The changing of the guards at so many luxury Houses means that there are plenty of openings elsewhere – but we're not so sure Viard will so readily pop up just yet. She really cut her teeth at CHANEL for several decades – is she looking for a change of scenery? Only time will tell.

The House's statement also noted that "a new chapter" was opening and that they were "confident in the teams' ability to ensure the continuity of the collections during this period of transition".

With regards to the future, the House simply said: "A new creative organisation for the House will be announced in due course. The Haute Couture Fall Winter 2024/25 collection will be presented as planned on 25 June at the Opera Garnier."


Who will be next?

There are plenty of qualified designers who have recently exited long tenures at other luxury houses that have yet to find their feet elsewhere (or at least, make any announcements).

Valentino's ex-creative director of 25 years, Pierpaolo Piccioli is one of our top picks for the job, as would be Chloe's recently-departed top designer Gabriella Hearst. Maybe Phoebe Philo has some time on the side of her eponymous new label drops to take up the gauntlet? Either way, we're excited for this next chapter.


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