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Virginie Viard, who succeeded Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, leaves fashion house

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PARIS (AP) — Virginie Viard, the artistic director who replaced Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel after his death, is leaving the French luxury fashion house.

Chanel did not immediately announce a replacement for the 62-year-old Viard, who worked with Lagerfeld for more than two decades and eventually took over his role after he passed away in 2019.

“Chanel confirms the departure of Virginie Viard after a rich five-year collaboration as artistic director of fashion collections,” Chanel said in a press statement, without giving a reason for her departure.

It said Viard “was able to renew the codes of the house while respecting the creative heritage of Chanel.”

Before she replaced Lagerfeld, Viard had held no official role as designer but worked closely with the late designer across all of Chanel’s numerous design channels, including couture.

Chanel said it will present its haute couture fall and winter collection as planned on June 25 at the Opéra Garnier in Paris.

Chanel sales have soared during Viard’s tenure, reportedly climbing by 14.6 percent to $19.7 billion last year.

“A new chapter is opening for Chanel mode,” the fashion house said. “We are confident in the teams’ ability to ensure the continuity of the collections during this period of transition. A new creative organization for the House will be announced in due course.”

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