Virginie Viard Is Exiting Chanel, and Other News

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Virginie Viard after the presentation of her fall 2024 women’s wear collection for Chanel in Paris. Photography by Teresa Suarez/EPA, via Shutterstock

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Virginie Viard departs Chanel after serving as the maison’s artistic director for five years.

Chanel announced Virginie Viard’s departure as artistic director after five years, during which sales soared to nearly $20 billion in 2023 despite critical reviews of her collections. The brand expressed gratitude for her nearly 30 years of service but did not name a successor. Viard, who succeeded Karl Lagerfeld in 2019, brought continuity but lacked his dramatic flair, focusing on more subdued designs. Her departure follows significant changes at other major fashion houses—Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino and Alessandro Michele at Gucci among them—fueling speculation about who might take her place.

Ace Gallery founder Douglas Chrismas is found guilty of embezzling more than $260,000.

Doug Chrismas, founder of Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, was found guilty of embezzling more than $260,000 from his gallery’s bankruptcy estate. Chrismas, 80, now faces up to 15 years in federal prison, ending a career marred by allegations of fraud and misconduct since the 1970s. Despite a history of lawsuits and accusations, including fabricating works and withholding payments, Chrismas avoided prosecution until now. His embezzlement involved diverting funds to Ace Museum, a nonprofit he controlled, to cover expenses and pursue personal ambitions.

Image courtesy of Cote Korean Steakhouse

Cote, America’s first Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse, plans a Las Vegas outpost.

Cote Korean Steakhouse, the first Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse in the U.S., will open on the Las Vegas Strip at the Venetian Resort early next year. This expansion is part of the Venetian’s $1.5 billion reinvestment project, featuring A5 wagyu, an award-nominated wine menu, and in-table smokeless grills. Designed by David Rockwell and Rockwell Group, the 10,000-square-foot space will include dynamic lighting, a dry-aging room, and tiered dining with private skybox rooms overlooking a central bar and DJ booth. Founder Simon Kim, a UNLV alum, calls the Vegas opening a “triumphant homecoming.”

An arts complex will soon open in Philadelphia with the help of artist Theaster Gates.

The Forman Arts Initiative (FAI) in Philadelphia has acquired nearly an entire block in West Kensington to develop a museum and community center, collaborating with artist Theaster Gates and local architects. Founded in 2021 by Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice, FAI grants support Philadelphia artists and organizations, including those in Kensington, an area impacted by the opioid crisis. The new campus, consisting of various historic buildings, will house Forman and Rice’s extensive art collection and serve as a community space, opening in stages starting this summer. The initiative aims to involve the community in shaping the center’s future, drawing inspiration from Gates’s transformative Dorchester Projects in Chicago.

Israel has announced it will not participate in next year’s Venice Architecture Biennale.

Israel will not participate in the 19th Venice Architecture Biennale, citing the need to renovate its pavilion. This marks Israel’s first withdrawal from a major international event since the Gaza conflict began in October, drawing criticism amid ongoing boycotts against its artists and academics. Budget constraints and late preparations contributed to the decision, leading to backlash from Israeli media and arts figures. The move follows controversies and protests over Israel’s participation in the 60th Venice Biennale art exhibition and other cultural events.

The “Full House” home at 1709 Broderick Street in San Francisco. Photography by Christopher Stark for Coldwell Banker Realty

Today’s attractive distractions:

Google Maps is (finally) showing where public restrooms are in New York City.

The posh San Francisco home from Full House hits the market for $6.5 million.

Can Paris drain the Seine’s sewage and make it safe to swim for the Olympics?

With some high-tech gadgetry, Joshua trees can make yowling, ethereal sounds.

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