Chanel put out a statement expressing their loss and revealing the future of the storied French fashion house. “Virginie Viard, director of Chanel’s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeld’s closest collaborator for more than 30 years, has been entrusted by Alain Wertheimer with the creative work for the collections, so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on,” read the company’s statement. Despite Viard’s long association with Lagerfeld, little is known about her yet.
Virginie Viard started out as an intern for haute couture embroidery at house of Chanel. From there on, she worked at Chloé with Karl Lagerfeld for another five years, after which she returned to Chanel.