Who Should Replace Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel? 8 Top Celebrity Stylists Weigh In

by Charles Manning

Karl Lagerfeld turns 85 this fall and he has held the design reigns at Chanel for the last 35 years. Eventually, someone is going to have to replace him. There’s just no getting around it. But who? Who could possibly fill the Kaiser’s shoes? We spoke with eight top celebrity stylists at our Stylists We Love Luncheon to get their opinions about who should be the next leader of the house that Coco built. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Law Roach
Who he dresses: Celine Dion, Zendaya, Mary J Blige, Demi Lovato, Mariah Carey


Who he thinks should replace Karl: “I know she’s doing her own thing, but I think it would be cool to see Phoebe [Philo at Chanel]. I think that would be interesting. I definitely feel like it should be a woman. It started with a woman. It started with Coco and although Karl has held the reigns for so long, and has been so great there, I think it would be really interesting to see a female perspective back at Chanel.”
That’s one for Philo!
2. Monica Rose
Who she dresses: Chrissy Teigen, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Chanel Iman, Katharine McPhee


Who she thinks should replace Karl: “Maybe like a Raf Simons to do something more clean and polished. It worked for Dior.”
Ok. So that’s one for Philo and one for Simons. In case you are keeping count, which you definitely are, right?
3. Brad Goreski
Who he dresses: Kaley Cuoco, Natalia Dyer, Sarah Hyland, Jenna Dewan, Lea Michele


Who he thinks should replace Karl: “I’m going to say Phoebe Philo.”
And Philo takes the lead!
4. Jordan Johnson and Jill Lincoln
Who they dress: Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Garner, Kiernan Shipka, Sofia Vergara


Who they think should replace Karl: “I would be curious to see what Hedi [Slimane] did with Chanel,” said Johnson. “That’s a hard question, but, yeah, I would agree with that,” added Lincoln.
So that’s two for Slimane? These ladies work together, so it’s tempting to just count this as one vote, but we’ll allow it.
5. B. Akerlund
Who she dresses:
Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Madonna, Katy Perry


Who she thinks should replace Karl: “Me.”
Gotta love that confidence!
6. Jason Rembert
Who he dresses:
Rita Ora, Winnie Harlow, Issa Rae, Zayn Malik

🌹🌹 Rita for Oscar’s @vanityfair party wearing @zuhairmuradofficial

A post shared by Jason Rembert (@jasonrembert) on


Who he thinks should replace Karl: “I love Raf [Simons].”
Simons, coming from behind! That’s a three-way-tie for first between Philo, Simons, and Slimane. And one vote for B. Akerlund.
7. Jessica Paster
Who she dresses: Emily Blunt, Olivia Munn, Aubrey Plaza, Miranda Kerr, Leslie Mann


Who she thinks should replace Karl: “I would have thought that it would definitely have been Hedi Slimane. I mean, I thought for sure. But if not, let’s give it to Alber Elbaz [formerly of Lanvin].”
Let’s call this half a vote for Slimane and half a vote for Elbaz, which puts Slimane in the lead by half a point as we move on to the final stylist!
8. Samantha McMillen
Who she dresses: Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Evan Rachel Wood, Brie Larson


Who she thinks should replace Karl: “No! I can’t! I can’t. I can’t. No. No. No. No. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. No. I can’t think about that. No!”
So… that’s a no, then?
And the winner is… Hedi Slimane! Sure, he just took over at Céline, but Lagerfeld is probably going to be sketching couture tweed dresses from his death bed, so this particular round of fashion musical chairs could be years away yet. Plenty of time for Slimane to make his mark at Céline and have a messy public falling-out with the top brass. I mean, let’s be honest, he’s a brilliant designer, but that is kind of his MO.

Hedi Slimane (Shutterstock)


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1 comment

Poppycockie April 17, 2018 - 6:49 pm

Actually, it’s been more like 35 years that Karl has been designing at Chanel… His first collection was shown in January 1983.

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