Virginie Viard has been tapped to become the new creative director for French fashion house, Channel.
Viard was named to the top job following the tragic passing of legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld who had been at the creative helm of Chanel since 1983 and had been designing for Fendi since 1965.
But who is Virginie Viard and does she have what it takes to lead Chanel? Check out below her top ten facts.
#1 She and Karl go a long way back
Viard was Karl’s longtime collaborator for over 30 years, Chanel said in a statement “she will take over the creative operations for the brand so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on.”
#2 Viard was Karl’s right hand
“Virginie is the most important person, not only for me but also for the atelier, for everything. She is my right arm and even if I don’t see her, we are on the phone all the time.” –Karl said about her.
#3 She is well trained
After working together at Chanel, Viard joined Lagerfeld at Chloé in 1992 and worked there for five years before returning to Chanel as the coordinator for haute couture, Viard told the French magazine Crash. She started working on ready-to-wear in 2000.
#4 She began her career at Chanel
Viard started at Chanel as an intern for haute-couture embroidery in 1987, The Telegraph reports. That’s just four years after Lagerfeld became creative director of the iconic French brand.
#5 Viard had high recommendations
According to Harpers Bazar, Virginie Viard was recommended to Chanel by the chamberlain of Prince Rainier of Monaco
#6 It was Viard who bowed to the audience in his last show
The late designer was absent from Chanel’s couture shows in Paris because he “was feeling tired,” according to a statement from the French brand at the time. Viard took the final bow in his place, accompanied by model Vittoria Ceretti.
#7 She is no stranger to bowing for shows
In the past, she had joined Lagerfeld for final bows at the Chanel Metiers D’Art 2018/2019 show in New York in December and the beach-themed Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris in October.
#8 She is a former designer for films and plays
Virginie who initially wanted to make theater costumes worked 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.
#9 She would receive texts from Karl speaking as his cat
Viard divulged to W magazine that Lagerfeld would text her in his beloved cat Choupette’s voice, sometimes accompanying the messages with a photo of his pet. “He signs them, Your Choupette,” she said.
#10 She was Chanel’s fashion studio director
Prior to being named the successor of Karl Lagerfeld, she served as director of Chanel’s Fashion Creation Studio.