The house of Chanel confirmed on Tuesday (19.02) "with deep sadness" the death of its creative director Karl Lagerfeld and announced that Virginie Viard would succeed him.
Although Chanel had steadfastly refused to address questions about Lagerfeld's succession over the years, the house silently paved the way to prepare Virginie to be great successor. In the last few seasons she accompanied Karl at the end of the parades, at the time of thanks, and at the last couture show she appeared alone - at the time the brand reported that the stylist was ill and could not attend.
For 30 years her job was to ensure that Karl's vision came true, commanding and supervising the work of all specialized workshops maintained by Chanel. She also helped in choosing fabrics, models, fittings and all the finishing touches to each collection.
She arrived in Chanel as an embroidery intern in 1987 with a recommendation from the butler of Prince Rainier of Monaco - she was close friend of the Wertheimer family, who controls the maison.
On one occasion, Lagerfeld said that four people directed Chanel: himself, Bruno Pavlovsky (brand president), Virginie Viard and image director Eric Pfrunder .
Chanel said in a statement that "Virginie Viard, Director of Fashion Creation Studio of CHANEL and closest collaborator of Karl Lagerfeld for more than 30 years, was entrusted by Alain Wertheimer to the creation of the next collections, so that the work of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld perpetuates. "