Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard to exit brand, Business of Fashion reports

By Thomson Reuters Jun 5, 2024 | 7:09 PM

(Reuters) – Luxury fashion brand Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard is set to leave the company, fashion news website Business of Fashion reported on Wednesday.

“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,” the report said, citing an emailed statement from Chanel.

Viard, a longtime deputy of Karl Lagerfeld, took over as chief designer of the fashion house in 2019, following the death of the haute couture icon.

The report did not mention any potential successor to Viard.

Chanel Chief Executive Leena Nair had brushed off talk of a designer change last month, noting that Viard had overseen strong growth in ready-to-wear fashion sales, which have surged two-and-a-half-times since 2018. She said Viard designs “very successfully for women.”

The company said last month it plans to open more stores in mainland China even though first-quarter sales updates from luxury brands have shown contrasting results in that market.

Chanel, known for its tweed suits, quilted handbags and No. 5 perfume, is the world’s second-largest label after LVMH-owned Louis Vuitton. The brand is privately owned by French billionaire brothers Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer.

Chanel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Chandni Shah in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)