Virginie Viard, deputy artistic director of Chanel, will become chief designer of the fashion house following the death of haute couture icon Karl Lagerfeld, a source at Chanel said on Tuesday. Lagerfeld, 85, died earlier on Tuesday after a short illness and after more than 50 years at the pinnacle of Paris and the global fashion industry.
The French fashion house announced that Karl Lagerfeld's right-hand Virginie Viard will head the creative operations, "so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on."
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¡COMUNICADO OFICIAL! Virginie Viard, Directora del Estudio de Creación de Moda de CHANEL y la colaboradora más cercana a Karl Lagerfeld durante más de 30 años, ha sido designada por Alain Wertheimer para continuar con el trabajo creativo para las colecciones, para que el legado de Gabrielle Chanel y Karl Lagerfeld puedan seguir viviendo. #virginieviard #karllagerfeld #chanel
The global fashion and showbiz community has mourned the demise of the designer, known for impeccable personal style, an evolving design sensibility as well as knack for making controversial statements.
An statement issued on Lagerfeld's offical Instagram account confirmed the news of his demise.
"The House of Karl Lagerfeld shares, with deep emotion and sadness, the passing of its creative director Karl Lagerfeld on February 19, 2019 in Paris, France. He was one of the most influential and celebrated designers of the 21st century and an iconic, universal symbol of style.
"Driven by a phenomenal sense of creativity, Karl was passionate, powerful and intensely curious. He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as one of the greatest designers of our time, and there are no words to express how much he will be missed," the official statement read.
Lagerfeld was battling pancreatic cancer, reported dailymail.co.uk.
He began his fashion career with the fashion house in 1983, a decade after Coco Chanel died. He was known for distinctive look in his later years, regularly wearing dark suits, a ponytail and black sunglasses.
Indian designers as well as film & fashion celebrities from across the world paid tributes to Lagerfeld who sought inspiration from India for his pre-autumn/winter 2012-13 collection.
For internationally known designer Ritu Beri, Lagerfeld had been an inspiration since over two decades. "He was passionate, powerful and intensely curious. I met him with François Lesage who did the embroideries for Chanel. He was driven by a phenomenal sense of creativity and of course was one of the greatest designer ever — the man behind the most important brand, Chanel," Beri told IANS.
Indian couturiers Rohit Bal and Manish Malhotra said Lagerfeld's death marks an end of an era. "We will miss the genius and the eccentricity of Karl Lagerfeld, a legend who has an incredible individual sense of style. One of the greats in the history of global fashion influencers. May his soul rest in peace... in fashion heaven," Bal told IANS.
Actress Athiya Shetty wrote "RIP to the best there was Karl Lagerfeld", while former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen said: "What a brilliant man and a celebrated life! Godspeed Karl Lagerfeld. Rest in peace the legend."
Former beauty queen Neha Dhupia also paid tribute to Lagerfeld by citing one of his quotable quotes: "I am very much down to earth, just not this earth."
From Hollywood, several actors and designers who worked closely with Lagerfeld mourned his demise.
A "heartbroken" Diane Kruger wrote: "Karl. I cannot tell you how much you meant to me and how much I will miss you. I will never forget your kindness towards me, your laughs, your imagination. I came to France see you this week and introduce you to my daughter... I'm heartbroken I was too late. Rest In Peace, I adore you'."
Fashion designer Victoria Beckham said: "So incredibly sad to hear this. Karl was a genius and always kind and generous to me, both personally and professionally. RIP."
"Karl, your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I," Donatella Versace wrote, referring to her late brother. "We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration. We were always learning from you."
Elton John said: "What a talent. What an appetite for life. Wonderful and lethal company. Never a dull moment."
Gigi Hadid, Antoria Banderas, Alexa Chung, Ryan Seacrest, Olivia Munn, Kris Jenner, Jessica Simpson were some of those who wrote early tributes for the man, who shaped up the legacy of Chanel.