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Rumor: Karl Lagerfeld to Step Down at Chanel, With Alber Elbaz Stepping In?

>> While Karl Lagerfeld is preparing for the Chanel Fall 2009 couture show on July 7 — which he plans to hold at sunset in the Grand Palais — rumors are swirling about his future at the company. Although he has said in the past that he doesn't plan to retire, it's circling that he will not renew his contract at Chanel, that Alber Elbaz will take his place, and Olivier Theyskens will take Alber's place at Lanvin.

Diane Pernet says both choices "make perfect sense" to her, but why would Alber, who has brought Lanvin profit through wearable clothes, be replaced with Olivier Theyskens, who is hardly known for wearable designs?  Anna Wintour is close friends with Karl Lagerfeld — but close enough to convince him to step down so she can find placement for Olivier Theyskens?

Diane also adds that she heard that Schiaparelli, which is expected to relaunch next year at earliest, has decided to switch directions and focus on a less expensive line.

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