Virginie Viard Is Out at Chanel

After almost three decades at the company and five years as creative director, Virginie Viard is leaving Chanel. The news comes during a busy time: just a few weeks after the French fashion house's Cruise 2025 show in Marseille and a few weeks ahead of its Fall 2024 Haute Couture show in Paris.

Vogue Business was first to report the news, sharing the below statement attributed to the house.

"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. A new creative organisation will be announced in due course. Chanel would like to thank Virginie Viard for her remarkable contribution to Chanel’s fashion, creativity and vitality."

Before succeeding the late Karl Lagerfeld, Viard spent almost 30 years as the designer's right hand, eventually leading Chanel's fashion studio. She was appointed creative director in 2019; at the time, the brand said, in a statement, that Viard had "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."

Even before Wednesday's announcement, rumors of her departure — and potential replacements — have been a hot topic of fashion discourse. Hedi Slimane, believed to be leaving his post at Celine following "a thorny contract negotiation" with LVMH, is currently at the top of that list. (In late April, via her newsletter, journalist and author Dana Thomas reported that he was going to Chanel.) In mid-May, seemingly in an attempt to debunk these rumors, Chanel CFO Philippe Blondiaux told WWD in an interview about its (very good) 2023 earnings that "from a consumer perspective and a brand perspective, Virginie has been a massive contributor."

A rep for Chanel did not respond to Fashionista's request for comment by press time. We will continue to update this post as more details emerge.

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