Retail in Asia


Chanel creative director Virginie Viard departs

Chanel’s Virginie Viard has stepped down from her role as creative director, according to multiple reports.

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Having joined the French fashion house some 30 years ago, Viard took on the top design spot at the Paris-based company in 2019, following the death of her colleague and friend Karl Lagerfeld, in 2019.

Her successor has not been announced.

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,” the house said in a statement, cited by several news outlets.

“A new creative organisation will be announced in due course. Chanel would like to thank Virginie Viard for her remarkable contribution to Chanel’s fashion, creativity and vitality.”

The house said it will go ahead as planned with its Paris Haute Couture show slated for later this month in the city of light.

Viard’s departure comes after a solid year of revenue growth for Chanel in 2023. Last month, the luxury house reported a 16 percent increase in sales to USD 19.7 billion last year, with double-digit growth across all categories.

The Asia-Pacific region, which represents more than half of total revenue, led the growth, where it clocked double-digit percentage growth, as well as in Europe, offsetting a sharp slowdown in the United States for the 12 months.

At the time of reporting, Chanel said it plans to spend more than ever before on stores and production facilities in 2024. The company said it will increase its capital spending this year to USD 1.8 billion from USD 1.2 billion in 2023,

As part of that spend, Chanel plans to invest in opening more stores in mainland China, despite a shift in spending by Chinese shoppers to other markets as they resume travelling.

“China is still a place where we are, I would say, under distributed,” said Chanel chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux, where the company has 18 fashion boutiques.