In a statement, Chanel said "for the traditional greeting at the end of the show, Mr. Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chanel, who was feeling tired" asked Viard "to represent him" - without providing any further details.
Legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel, has died at 85, news agency Reuters reported Tuesday, quoting a source.
January was the first time Karl had ever missed an end-of-catwalk bow at one of his shows.
Such was the enigma surrounding the German-born designer that even his age was a point of mystery for decades, with reports he had two birth certificates, one dated 1933 and the other 1938.
A spokesman for Chanel was not immediately available for comment.
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While not commenting Monday on the media reports, it added: "We have set out the improvements we expect the company to make". Huawei strongly denies claims its equipment can be used for spying.
Chanel said Lagerfeld died early Wednesday.
At the time, the fashion house said Lagerfeld was exhausted.
The cause of his death is yet to be released. Lagerfeld experienced weeks of poor health after being unable to attend fashion week festivities.
Lagerfeld was recognised around the world for his distinctive long white hair, black sunglasses, gloves and high starched collars.