Is Karl Lagerfeld Leaving Chanel and Retiring?

Karl Lagerfeld, 82, has been the creative director of Chanel for 33 years; it is hard to imagine where the brand would possibly be if it weren’t for him standing behind it all. We would have never had the pleasure of seeing his iconic ponytail on a graphic tee, or of the presence of his cat Choupette in each photoshoot. Luckily, we have known the fabulous traits that come with the designer at the head of a brand as iconic as Chanel, but the rumor mill is kicking back up with word that Karl Lagerfeld might be stepping down from the creative director rule at Chanel, as Page Six informs.

Is Karl Lagerfeld Leaving Chanel and Retiring?

The rumors started circulating with more frequency once Hedi Slimane announced his departure from Saint Laurent, as the two designers have a particularly close working relationship. Speculations were that Lagerfeld might step down to make way for Slimane, which would make sense due to the Chanel designer’s age – but that has never stopped him before.

Back when rumors kicked up on this same topic in 2009, then-New York Times writer Cathy Horyn said, “Mr. Lagerfeld said to forget about it. He was going to die with his boots on.” The same thing happened in 2010, and when it arose again in 2012, VogueTV interviewed Lagerfeld on the matter. “Why should I stop working? If I do, I’ll die and it’ll all be finished,” he said. He has had no sign of slowing down, and there have been a slew of rumors of this same nature, so until confirmation comes from within the brand itself, don’t mind me if I don’t hold my breath.

Although, the thought of Lagerfeld stepping down does make me hope these rumors aren’t yet true. If Chanel were to come back with confirmation, it is likely this year’s Cuban resort show would be his last – not such a bad way to go out, but it would still be quite a shame. There have been a great many departures from luxury fashion labels in the past year (Raf Simons from Dior, Slimane, and Alber Elbaz from Lanvin), yet Lagerfeld would cause for the largest stir in the industry.

The designer has been working for a long time in the industry, so it’s not totally unexpected for rumors like this to be so common. But the unfortunate matter is, one day it won’t be a rumor. But for now, it will be a waiting game for Lagerfeld to come out and announce his departure or denounce the rumor. Either way, we will all be able to breathe a sigh of relief when the waiting is over.

Photo courtesy of @chanelofficial

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