The fashion world is mourning the loss of Chanel’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld and is now celebrating the rise of his chosen successor Virginie Viard.

She worked closely with Lagerfeld at Chanel for over 30 years moving from the position of director of Chanel’s fashion creation studio to Chanel’s creative director. Viard started at Chanel as an intern for the haute-couture embroidery in 1987 (four years after Lagerfeld took on the creative director position).

Viard continued her work with Lagerfeld for Chloe in 1992 and returned to Chanel as the coordinator for haute couture five years later. Though there was no confirmation, Viard was the top choice in being Lagerfeld’s successor as they were attached by the hip for years.

Lagerfeld reveals the close relationship he has with Viard saying, “Virginie is the most important person, not only for me but also for the atelier, for everything. She is my right arm and even if I don’t see her, we are on the phone all the time.” The only other person that Lagerfeld was closer to than Viard was his beloved white cat, Choupette.

Viard isn’t the only one in her family with an extensive background in fashion, with her grandparents in the silk manufacturing industry. Lagerfeld held a lifetime contract with Chanel, so it’s safe to say that she will be the new head of Chanel for a long-time to come.

For more on the new changes to the Chanel fashion house, check out the video above.