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Karl Lagerfeld's Metallic Jacket Sparks Hedi Slimane Rumors at Chanel

Chanel Karl jacket Hedi Cuba
AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

Lagerfeld wears Slimane's design in Cuba, amid rumors that he's ready to step down

Since Hedi Slimane stepped down as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent (and was promptly replaced by Anthony Vaccarello), the fashion industry has been having trouble sleeping over the designer's fate. Rumors that Slimane is launching his own label were dispelled this week, when the designer himself sent a rare tweet to say he's not looking for backers to launch his clothing line.

Meanwhile, Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld has confessed his love for Slimane on multiple occasions. While he was showing his Cruise 2016 collection in La Havana, the 82-year-young designer wore a metallic sequin jacket designed by Slimane for Saint Laurent.

Even Lagerfeld's own cat Choupette, who has more followers than you on Instagram, fuelled the rumors, posting a cryptic picture after the Chanel show saying "there's more than meet the eye" in her daddy's jacket.

This is a further clue that Slimane could be first in line to replace the designer.

Earlier this year, another design legend, Azzedine Alaia, said that he "wouldn't be suprised" to see Lagerfeld handing over the keys of the Chanel house to Slimane.

The latest rumor entertained by i-D and other industry insiders is that Slimane will launch the first-ever standalone Chanel menswear collection, and will take on menswear and womenswear when Lagerfeld decides to leave.

Other sources were speculating on Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton replacing Lagerfeld at Chanel, but he has a different opinion about it. "I think that Sarah Burton would be an interesting option (at Dior)," Lagerfeld told Vogue Hommes. "She is fantastic and what she's doing at McQueen is truly haute couture."

So no Chanel for Burton.

With designer Raf Simons, who left Dior in October, Alber Elbaz, formerly at Lanvin, and Stefano Pilati's exit from Ermenegildo Zegna (with Armani takeover rumors), as well as departures at Berluti and Brioni, the fashion world is bound to experience a major upheaval.

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Julien Sauvalle