Meet Virginie Viard, Karl Lagerfeld’s Successor at Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld held a prolific tenure at the helm of Chanel from 1983 to his final days in 2019. Who could possibly follow in the revolutionary designer's footsteps? The French fashion house announced today that Virginie Viard, Lagerfeld's right-hand, will take over the creative operations for the brand following the designer's passing "so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on."

Getty Images Pascal Le Segretain

Here's what you need to know about the new designer leading Chanel.

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Viard has a background in costume design.

Viard hails from a fashion-loving family. Her grandparents were silk manufacturers, she told Crash. “I was also attracted to the industry, but most of all I wanted to make theater costumes,” she told the magazine. “I started in costume production as assistant to Dominique Borg, who notably produced costumes for Camille Claudel; then I was a costume designer for films and plays, until I met Karl, who suggested I work at Chanel and then Chloé.”

Though Viard ultimately worked in fashion, she she did make impressive moves in the film realm, working with French actress Isabelle Adjani and directors Bruno Nuytten. She also designed the costumes for Three Colors: Blue (1993), which starred Juliette Binoche, and Three Colors: White (1994) both directed by Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski.

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