Virginie Viard is leaving Chanel

After 30 years, Chanel has confirmed that Virginie Viard – who took over as artistic director from Karl Lagerfeld in 2019 – is leaving the Parisian house

Chanel runway show
Virginie Viard’s S/S 2024 Chanel couture show, held easlier this year in Paris
(Image credit: Courtesy of Chanel)

In news announced late last night (5 June 2024), Virginie Viard is set to leave her role as artistic director of Chanel. Her five-year tenure began after the death of Karl Lagerfeld in 2019, having worked with the German designer for over two decades prior. She was often called his right hand. 

‘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 30 years within the house,’ a brief statement from the house read.

Virginie Viard to exit Chanel after three decades

Virginie Viard takes her bow at Chanel Cruise show

Virginie Viard takes her bow at the Chanel Cruise 2025 show in Marseille

(Image credit: Photography by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)

Viard’s tenure – which has been one of enormous commercial success, with sales reaching close to $20 billion in 2023 – was defined by a breezy, youthful femininity, which often looked back to the life and designs of house founder Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel for inspiration. After the dramatic show sets of Lagerfeld – who might construct an airport or supermarket in the Grand Palais – Viard favoured subtly and intimacy, at one point holding a show on the banks of the River Seine. 

Her last collection was the house’s Cruise show in Marseille, held on the rooftop of Cité Radieuse, Le Corbusier’s 1952-completed ’vertical city’ in May. ‘Marseille is a city that puts me in touch with my emotions. I tried to capture its power of attraction, its breath of fresh air, and to convey the energy that reigns there,’ she said. Her Métiers d'art show was held last December in Manchester seeing Viard inspired by the energy of the city’s music scene. ‘It incites to creation,’ she said. 

As yet, her replacement has not been announced, with Chanel saying they will be revealed ’in due course’. The house’s upcoming haute couture show is still slated to take place on June 25 2024 in Paris.

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.