On Tuesday, February 19th, Chanel announced that Virginie Viard, the brand’s fashion studio director, is to succeed Karl Lagerfeld. This decision comes with the confirmation that the legendary designer has passed away at the age of 85.
Viard started her tenure at Chanel in 1987 and has worked alongside Karl Lagerfeld and became inseparable since then. She got her start at the luxury brand when a family friend Prince Rainier’s chamberlain, recommended Viard for an internship.
When Lagerfeld went to Chloé in 1992 Viard followed and then followed him back to Chanel in 1997. She even joined the designer for his bow at a show in October, held at the Grand Palais.
Viard reveals that their process begins when Lagerfeld completes one of his famous colored-pencil-and-pastel sketches, which he did by hand.
Viard says “I immediately dispatch each sketch to each première
“I like to think of myself as the one who helps his vision come alive.”Virginie Viard
Lagerfeld described their dynamic as such:
“She is my right hand and my left hand.”
Lagerfeld also notes:
“Our relationship is essential, doubled by
a veryreal friendship and affection.”
Viard admitted that she always tried “to anticipate what he would like” and also mentioned that she also had a desire to “please him but also surprise him.”
Viard had the fortunate opportunity to get to know the private Lagerfeld over the years and revealed that the designer was “very sensitive, like all creative people, but very faithful, generous—which might not be what people would guess.”