One needn’t be Margaret Mead to observe that Chanel has what all ofits competitors want: a brilliantly talented designer who fuels theglobal machine via simultaneously pushing the house codes and advancingfashion. All while creating an aura of chic that resonates acrossgenerations, and whose stated dedication to that role is matched by aferocious work ethic — over the long haul. Should that be so hard tofind in a job candidate?

Situation after situation says yes — at least when it comes tolongevity, which, in the case of Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, has securedthe house’s position at the pinnacle of fashion for decades. Lagerfeldis approaching his 30th anniversary at the house, a designer-as-employeetenure exceeded only by Lagerfeld at Fendi. The next closest is MarcJacobs, 15 years at Louis Vuitton.

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