What’s Next for the Fashion Brands Karl Lagerfeld Left Behind?

What happens when the mastermind behind a brand is no longer around to make sure things run smoothly? Well, several major fashion houses are about to find out.

Karl Lagerfeld, the man with arguably the greatest influence on fashion and design in the last few decades, died on Feb. 19th leaving a huge hole in his place.

His death was announced on his personal Instagram.

“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,” the caption read. “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 post finished.

Among other accolades, Lagerfeld was largely known for reviving Chanel back in the 1980s. But the luxury fashion house won’t be the only brand feeling a huge loss at the passing of Lagerfeld. He also headed Fendi’s fur line and was the creative director of his namesake brand.

So what will the fashion world do without him?


Lagerfeld had been a prominent fixture at Chanel since 1983 when he brought the brand back from near extinction.

The fashion house took to Instagram to express their condolences for the late designer.

“It is with deep sadness that the House of CHANEL announces the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director for the CHANEL Fashion House since 1983,” the post read.

The caption went on to describe how Lagerfeld reinvented the brand that was created by Gabrielle Chanel.

“‘Regarding Gabrielle Chanel,’ he said, ‘My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done. The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things.’ A prolific creative mind with endless imagination, Karl Lagerfeld explored many artistic horizons, including photography and short films. The House of CHANEL benefited from his talent for all the branding campaigns related to Fashion since 1987.”

They also announced who would be taking the famed designer’s place.

“Virginie Viard, Director of CHANEL’s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeld’s closest collaborator for more than 30 years, has been entrusted by Alain Wertheimer with the creative work for the collections, so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on.”

Viard was also the person that Lagerfeld chose to stand in for him when he missed several of Chanel’s Haute Couture shows in January.


Another brand that is certainly reeling from Lagerfeld’s death is Fendi. The designer had been with the fashion house since 1965. He stayed on at Fendi even after he began working with Chanel and founded his own brand.

Fendi has not yet announced who will take Lagerfeld’s place.

“Fendi intends to take its time to pay him the homage he deserves and will communicate on his succession later,” the brand told Fortune.

Though Fendi is not openly discussing who they plan to place in Lagerfeld’s role, sources close to the situation told Fortune that Silvia Venturini Fendi, the granddaughter of founders Edoardo and Adele Fendi will take on Lagerfeld’s role. She is currently the creative director for accessories, menswear, and children at Fendi.

Read more: How Did Karl Lagerfeld Get Famous?

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!