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After five years at the helm of famed French fashion house Chanel, the Artistic Director, Virginie Viard is hanging up her perfectly tailored tweed blazer, after it was announced that she is stepping down from her post effective immediately. 

Virginie was appointed the role of Artistic Director following the death of legendary fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, who headed up the house for over 40 years. 

At the time of her appointment, fashion fans were sceptical of what might become of the famous Maison, as after all, she had extremely large artistic shoes to fill. Quickly after her first collection launch, lovers of the designer house breathed a sigh of relief as Virginie made it very clear that her intentions with the brand were to continue the notorious Chanel aesthetic for which both Coco and Karl had worked so hard for. 

Virginie Viard's last appearance as the Artistic Director of Chanel during the Cruise 2024-2025 show© Getty
Virginie Viard's last appearance as the Artistic Director of Chanel during the Cruise 2024-2025 show

In a statement provided by the brand, the house praised Virgine by saying "Chanel would like to thank Virginie Viard for her remarkable contribution to Chanel’s fashion, creativity and vitality." They continued to say that with the time she spent at the Maison she "was able to renew the codes of the house while respecting the creative heritage of Chanel, and almost 30 years within the house."

Although we’re unsure who might be taking over, Chanel has said "A new creative organisation will be announced in due course" so as we wait in anticipation we can’t help but take a look back through some of Virginie Viard’s most iconic creations while at the helm of the brand. 

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Virginie Viard's Fashion Journey:

Viard was only the third artistic director in Chanel's illustrious 114-year history, following Lagerfeld and the brand’s founder, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. After five impactful years at the helm and over thirty years with the house, she is stepping down, leaving one of the most coveted positions in fashion up for grabs.

Viard's career in fashion began as an assistant to costume designer Dominique Borg. She joined Chanel in 1987, working in embroidery, and later followed Lagerfeld to Chloé. Returning to Chanel in 1997, she became the director of the fashion design studio and in 2000, the director of Chanel’s creation studio, overseeing haute couture, ready-to-wear, and accessories. She was a constant collaborator with Lagerfeld on all 10 annual collections. Her solo bow at the 2019 haute couture shows marked the beginning of her tenure as artistic director after Lagerfeld's death.

From Sofia Richie Grainges's multiple wedding dresses to Lily-Rose Depp's low-rise embellished skirt and Emilia Clarke’s matching twin set MBE acceptance look, here are just a few of our favourite moments...

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The Highlights from Viard's Time At Chanel:


Charlotte Casiraghi rode her a horse on the runway during Chanel's Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2022 show© Dominique Charriau

The Princess and The Horse

In a fashion moment to remember, Viard kicked off the Spring 2022 couture collection with a royal twist. Charlotte Casiraghi, the Monégasque princess and granddaughter of Grace Kelly, rode her elegant Spanish bay horse, Kuskus, down the runway at the Grand Palais, creating a spectacle that left the audience in awe.


Margot Robbie's Golden Globes Gown © Getty

Margot Robbie's Golden Globes Gown

Taking over 750 hours to make, Margot Robbie's custom blush pink, halterneck Golden Globes 2023 Chanel gown was a thing of Barbie dreams. Delicate sequins and beading gave Margot a radiant, leading-lady glow. However, what caught our attention most was the striking chevron pattern running down the centre.


The Grand Prix inspired Chanel's 2023 Cruise Collection© Stephane Cardinale - Corbis

Formula 1 Extravaganza

For the 2022 Chanel cruise show, Viard chose the glamorous Monte Carlo, home of the Monaco Grand Prix. Models strutted down the runway in Formula 1-inspired jumpsuits and chequered flag blouses, complete with Chanel-branded racing helmets. The collection also paid homage to the glitz of Monte Carlo’s casino culture with playful, slot machine-themed accessories.


Instagram / @sofiagrainge

Sofia Richie Grainge's Wedding Dresses

Opting for a custom-made, beaded embellished, slim fitting, halter neck gown, Sofia Richie Grainge inspired a whole new generation of brides-to-be in her three nuptial ensembles from Chanel.


Chanel's Metiers d'Art show was held on December 7, 2023 in Manchester© WWD

Made in Manchester

December 2023 saw Chanel’s Metiers D'Art show land in Manchester, a city known for its vibrant cultural history. Viard celebrated British fashion amidst the city’s rainy streets, with front-row stars like Tilda Swinton, Hugh Grant, and Kristen Stewart. Inspired by Manchester’s music and nightlife, Viard also honoured Chanel's historical love for UK tweed, famously discovered by Coco Chanel during visits to her lover the Duke of Westminster.


WINDSOR, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Emilia Clarke, Co-Founder and Trustee, SameYou, after being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, on February 21, 2024 in Windsor, England. (Photo Andrew Matthews - Pool/Getty Images)© Pool

Emilia Clarke's MBE Twin Set

Opting for a chic all-white ensemble, actress Emila Clarke donned an ecru tweed embellished jacket with braid and jewelled buttons paired with a matching skirt A-line midi skirt from Chanel's Spring-Summer 2020 Haute Couture collection to accept her MBE at Windsor Castle earlier this year. 


Chanel 2024 Cruise show took place at Paramount Studios on May 9, 2023 in Los Angeles© WWD

Lala Land

Chanel’s star-studded Cruise 2024 show took over Paramount Studios in LA, with guests like Margot Robbie and Snoop Dogg. The show embraced a playful, California vibe with rhinestone mini-shorts, sequined jumpsuits, and luxe loungewear, set against a backdrop of food trucks and roller skaters. It was a celebration of Cali-chic glamour, blending ‘Malibu Barbie’ sparkle with laid-back style.


Viard made the bookworm aesthetic into fashion statement during the Chanel Haute Couture  on July 2, 2019.© Pascal Le Segretain

The Librarians

Viard's debut Chanel Couture show transformed Paris's Grand Palais into a literary haven, inspired by Mademoiselle Chanel’s library. With minimal accessories, the collection featured sleek looks grounded with black patent loafers and low ponytails. The occasional silver-rimmed reading glasses added a touch of secretarial elegance, while paying homage to both Chanel and Lagerfeld's love for books.


Michelle Williams Met Gala Mini © Getty

Michelle Williams Met Gala Mini

To attend the 2024 Met Gala Michelle Williams called upon Chanel to create her an all-white mini dress with puff sheer sleeves and a cascading train.


Billie Eilish's Preppy Oscars Look© Getty

Billie Eilish's Preppy Oscars Look

For the 2024 Academy Awards, songstress Billie Eilish chose to channel her inner preppy school girl, donning a black and white tweed midi skirt under a black fitted blazer.