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More than Raf Simons leaving Dior, or Hedi Slimane departing Saint Laurent, or even Alber Elbaz exiting Lanvin, this would unequivocally be the most significant staffing shakeup to rock the fashion industry in the last year. According to Page Six, the 82-year-old Karl Lagerfeld might leave his longtime post at Chanel after the brand's upcoming resort show in Cuba.
Of course, the rumor mill has churned out this particular piece of gossip before. In 2009 and then again in 2010, Lagerfeld was said to be retiring, with Elbaz coming in as his replacement. (Of the 2009 iteration of that rumor, Cathy Horyn wrote in the New York Times, "Mr. Lagerfeld said to forget about it. He was going to die with his boots on.") Lagerfeld has been creative director of Chanel for 33 years. It would be weird if he'd gone that long without some whisperings about a possible retirement or departure.
We've reached out to a Chanel rep and will update when we hear back. If it is true, though, could that rumored Elbaz succession follow?