What Would Chanel Look Like Without Lagerfeld?

Jak & Jill blogger Tommy Ton recently made waves in the fashion community with a cyptic tweet about a secret shake-up in the industry:

“I received some news tonight that is going to SHAKE the fashion world in the next two days. CRAZY!!!!…I can’t tell. I swore I’d zip the lip but I’ll tell you my mouth nearly dropped to the ground when the news was whispered into my ear.”

Rumor has it that Ton has found the answer to fashion’s most buzzed about question: who on earth will replace Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel?

While it pains us to envision Chanel Lagerfeld-less, insiders suspect that the designer’s days at the brand are coming to an end. And who better to fit the tweed cropped jacket then genius Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz?

Whispers of Lagerfeld leaving and Elbaz coming in have long been running rampant, but in June of last year, both Chanel and Lanvin denied the rumors that Lagerfeld had not resigned his contract and that Elbaz was stepping in.

Elbaz began as Creative Director of Lanvin — a fashion house with a history even longer Chanel’s — in October of 2001, after leaving Yves Saint Laurent where he had been designing for the brand’s ready-to-wear collection. Much like Lagerfeld’s entrance into Chanel, Elbaz had to truly modernize and revitalize Lanvin, a brand whose cachet had waned since its 1930’s popularity. It was Elbaz’s job to begin Lanvin’s long-awaited renaissance. And while Chanel certainly isn’t in need of a revamp, Elbaz’s experience at a brand with a similar history puts the designer at a major advantage.

So what would Chanel look like if Elbaz stepped in? And of almost equal importance, what would become of Lanvin?

Chanel’s collection would most likely grow more architecturally aware. Perhaps we would see a play on the classic tweed jacket with a bolder shoulder, or a more unexpectedly shaped bodice. Maybe Elbaz would take cues from his most recent collection and continue along the same line with clean cut silhouettes. The color palate would most likely stay the same — partly because Chanel is so iconically and historically black and white, and not insignificantly because both Elbaz and Lagerfeld rarely use out-of-the-box colors.

Truth be told, 62-year-old Lagerfeld isn’t getting any younger…but then again, his collections aren’t getting any less groundbreaking, thoughtful, or modern either. So, until a formal announcement is made from either brand, bite your tongue. But in the meantime, if we had to pick a successor to the quilted thrown, we can’t help but admit that Elbaz seems like an ideal choice.

And, finally — apropos of nothing and because who couldn’t do with a little more Karl? — here’s a clip of Lagerfeld in his younger days:

Related Power Grid Profiles:
Karl Lagerfeld
Alber Elbaz
Tommy Ton

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