The designers we actually want to be Chanel’s Creative Director

The designers we actually want to be Chanel’s Creative Director

by Robyn Pullen
5 min

The year is 2024, and Chanel does the unpredictable by choosing a non-white male Creative Director. Or at least, that’s what we’re hoping. You might’ve noticed that the fashion industry has a type when it comes to Creative Directors: white, cis, and male seems to be the popular trend in fashion right now, and honestly, it’s starting to feel kind of repetitive.

Following Chanel’s announcement yesterday that its Creative Director since 2019, Virginie Viard, would be stepping down from her role, the fashion world’s been speculating who’s up next at Chanel. Looking at the industry’s track record, we’re expecting a particular type of designer to step in (did someone say “straight white man?”) Sure, we could’ve listed John Galliano or Jeremy Scott or any of the other popular suggestions being thrown around, but in our opinion this is the perfect chance for Chanel to subvert the stereotype.

Here are the designers we’d love to see step in at Chanel.

Grace Wales Bonner

Ever wondered what a sportswear take on Chanel would look like? Then Grace Wales Bonner is your girl. The South-London born designer is known for tapping into her mixed heritage British-Jamaican roots, to create menswear collections that are a vibrant blend of sportswear and tailoring. Bonner’s take on the Chanel could be just what it needs to shake the dust off its tweed sets and bring it into a new era. 

Chet Lo

Tweed suits but make them spiky: that’s exactly what we see Chet Lo bringing to Chanel. Although, actually Asian-American designer Chet Lo’s been moving away from his spiky looks lately and playing around with more classic, stripped back looks. His modern silhouettes and exciting takes on texture might be exactly what Chanel’s been waiting for.

Hodakova

It feels like a lot of high fashion brands are taking on a more utilitarian edge, and that’s what we see Ellen Hodakova bringing to Chanel. Recognised for her belt bags, textured silhouettes, and up-cycled materials, Hodakova’s take on Chanel would be grungy, upcycled, and elevated. I mean, imagine her brief-case dress in classic Chanel tweed!

Saul Nash 

You already know Chanel’s classic tweed suits, but we’d love to see a designer transform them into tracksuits. That’s where Saul Nash, the London-based designer known for his technical menswear, comes in. Plus, Nash’s themed runway collections (styles after the beach, the slopes, and the club) are a perfect reference to the era of Karl Lagerfeld’s immersive Chanel runways. 

Supriya Lele

Supriya Lele’s tight, mesh collections might not immediately scream Chanel, but there are aspects of her designs that we see melding well with the House. London-raised but with Indian roots, Lele’s cross-cultural POV could be a refreshing new perspective for Chanel. Picture Chanel-style saris and mesh, tailored skirt suits: the potential is there.

Masha Popova

Would you wear a patchwork denim Chanel suit trimmed with faux fur and sequins? Well, that’s what we’d love to see Ukrainian designer Masha Popover bring to the brand if she became Creative Director. Known for her high fashion low rise denim, fantastical aesthetic, and bold prints, Popova at Chanel could add just enough of the playful edge that the House is missing.

Jawara Alleyne

Next up, Jawara Alleyene. Imagine a collection of deconstructed Couture gowns, delicately held together with safety pins and each in the vibrant colours of Alleyene’s Jamaican heritage. Surely we can all agree that this would be iconic.

Tyler the Creator

Tailoring, broaches, leather bags, and loafers. If you thought we were talking about Chanel, you’re wrong: this is Golf le Fleur. Tyler the Creator might be a rapper first, but there’s no denying his fashion knowledge is top tier: just look to Tyler’s recent Louis Vuitton Men’s collab for proof. Hands down, Tyler’s take on Chanel would be top tier.

Feature image via @feliciathegoat ©

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