Skip to main content
BoF Logo

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

Lagerfeld-Era Image Director Éric Pfrunder Has Left Chanel

In a bid for continuity after the death of Karl Lagerfeld, Pfrunder was appointed artistic director for fashion image alongside Virginie Viard, who was named artistic director for fashion collections.
Karl Lagerfeld, Eric Pfrunder and Sebastien Jondeau. Getty.
Karl Lagerfeld, Eric Pfrunder and Sebastien Jondeau. Getty. (Getty Images)

Veteran image director Éric Pfrunder has retired from Chanel after nearly four decades in its employ. After the death of Karl Lagerfeld, Pfrunder was entrusted by the Wertheimer brothers who own the French megabrand to lead its creative side along with artistic director of fashion collections Virginie Viard.

The news, first reported by Fashion Network, was confirmed by Chanel, which in a statement called Pfrunder “a highly active and influential contributor to the trio he formed with Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard.”

Marion Destenay Falempin succeeded Pfrunder in the role of fashion image director in September, the company said.

Pfrunder, who joined Chanel the same year as Lagerfeld in 1983, was critical to the visual direction of the brand. He oversaw everything from its advertising to its red carpet strategy. He was frequently described as Lagerfeld’s right-hand man, encouraging the designer to take up photography in 1987, according to an interview with Pfrunder in French magazine Les Hardis. Pfrunder also worked with Lagerfeld on shoots for Fendi.

ADVERTISEMENT

After Lagerfeld’s death, Chanel chief executive officer Alain Wertheimer announced Pfrunder would assume the position of artistic director of fashion image, charged with leading the brand forward with Viard. “Alain Wertheimer confirms his confidence in the team that worked with Karl Lagerfeld for over 30 years,” read a statement from the house issued in April 2019.

In January, Pfrunder joined the advisory board of blockchain company Lukso. Pfrunder inherited Lagerfeld’s photographic archive after his death, according to Vogue Business, and registered the body of work on Lukso.

The pandemic disrupted Chanel’s business more than other leading luxury megabrands: revenue fell by 18 percent in 2020 to $10.1 billion, according to the company, as operating profit fell by 41 percent to $2 billion. Sales have since returned to growth compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux told BoF in June.

Related Articles:

Chanel to Lean on Brand Veterans Following Lagerfeld’s Death

One Year After Karl, Where Do Chanel and Fendi Go From Here?

Chanel Sales Bounce Back After Heavy Pandemic Hit

In This Article
Topics
Organisations

© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

More from Luxury
How rapid change is reshaping the tradition-soaked luxury sector in Europe and beyond.

Will Dover Street Market’s Big Bet on Independent Fashion Pay Off?

The Comme des Garçons-owned retailer’s new Paris location is taking a radical — and risky — gamble on indie labels over big brand concessions at a challenging moment for the fashion market. ‘The hunger for sure is out there — I feel it,’ said CEO Adrian Joffe.


The Existential Threat to Independent Brands

This week, The Vampire’s Wife announced its closure and Dion Lee called in administrators, only days after Mara Hoffman said it was shutting down and Roksanda narrowly escaped administration. Many more may follow.


How Chopard Seizes the Red Carpet Spotlight in Cannes

The Swiss brand out-sparkles rivals with a strategy aimed at driving sales as well as image. This year the company dressed Greta Gerwig, Demi Moore and Bella Hadid as well as hosting clients to view (and purchase) its high jewellery range.


view more

Subscribe to the BoF Daily Digest

The essential daily round-up of fashion news, analysis, and breaking news alerts.

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
CONNECT WITH US ON
© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and Accessibility Statement.