Chanel has made an unexpected move by bringing its latest collection of Métiers d’Art to the city of Manchester. The show, attended by ambassadors including Kirsten Stewart and Tilda Swinton, took place against the backdrop of the city’s gritty energy. Throughout the week, Chanel hosted various events such as a dinner at the historic Salford Lads Club and an exhibition called “Manchester, Past, Present, Future”. The collection itself showcased Coco Chanel’s iconic style with a modern twist, combining British references with rare French artisanal skills.
Fashion Network had the opportunity to speak with Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel Fashion, about the decision to host the show in Manchester. Pavlovsky explained that Virginie Viard, the current Chanel designer, wanted to draw inspiration from England’s culture, music, and creativity. Manchester was chosen for its vibrant energy and rich history, particularly in the context of the industrial revolution. Pavlovsky noted that there is a disconnect between how people perceive Chanel and the dynamic energy of a city like Manchester.
The Métiers d’Art shows are known for their traveling nature, allowing Chanel to explore different cultures and find new inspiration. Last year, the show took place in Dakar, Africa, and this year, Manchester provided a unique backdrop. Pavlovsky emphasized that traveling is essential for a brand like Chanel to stay fresh and relevant.
When asked about the difference between Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard’s approaches, Pavlovsky acknowledged their distinct styles. Viard brings her own touch to each collection while still respecting and nurturing the brand’s iconic codes. Additionally, Chanel’s clientele has become younger under Viard’s direction, although Pavlovsky believes that the brand’s wide range of customers is more important than age.
Pavlovsky also discussed the creation of Paraffection, a holding company overseeing Chanel’s acquisitions of rare artisanal skills. The company has acquired Desrues for buttons and Lesage for embroidery, aiming to eliminate administrative issues so that these houses can focus on creativity. Chanel seeks to offer something different to these artisans, ensuring their long-term success.
Regarding Chanel’s performance, Pavlovsky expressed optimism for the future, predicting double-digit growth in 2023. He believes that luxury brands still have a bright future, especially as the gap between the rich and the rest of society widens. Chanel’s diverse range of products, including perfume, cosmetics, accessories, and shoes, will contribute to the brand’s ongoing success.
Looking ahead, Chanel plans to open one or two flagship stores per year to enhance the shopping experience, particularly in Asia where malls are expanding. The brand also offers Chanel et Moi, a service program focused on exceptional customer service and problem-solving for clients.
Although Chanel currently only sells scents and cosmetics online, Pavlovsky emphasized the importance of boutiques, as clients value the personal relationship and luxurious experience they provide. He sees the relationship between Chanel and its clients as a central aspect of the brand’s success.
In terms of marketing, Chanel has a strong affinity for Inez & Vinoodh, a photography duo known for their work on many of the brand’s campaigns. Pavlovsky highlighted their understanding of Virginie Viard’s vision and their ability to effectively capture the essence of Chanel.
Ultimately, Pavlovsky believes that investing in products, savoir faire, raw materials, creativity, and valuable offerings is key to maintaining Chanel’s success. With a positive outlook for luxury brands, Chanel appears poised to continue its legacy as a leading fashion house.