Chanel creative director quits after five years with French fashion house

Designer Virginie Viard walks the runway

Chanel has announced the departure of creative director Virginie Viard after five years.

The French fashion house will announce a replacement in ‘due course’ to oversee its empire of luxury goods.

Viard, 62, oversaw designs during the pandemic when sales of its handbags and jewellery soared, taking on the role when German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld died in 2019. She had worked at the firm for three decades.

English fashion designer Sarah Burton, who designed the Princess of Wales’s wedding dress when she married Prince William in 2011, has been tipped to fill the role. Also in the mix are Celine creative director Hedi Slimane and Valentino’s departing creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli.

It comes as the industry grapples with weaker demand. Chanel defied the gloom felt by rivals, raking in £5bn in profits last year – 10.9pc up on the year before. Its billionaire family owners, the Wertheimers, have pocketed £9.7bn over the past three years.