Tweeds, interwoven chains, two-tone shoes, pearls and embroidery, pleated silks, feathers and camellias. From the time of Madame Gabrielle, this iconic and magical imagery has distinguished the collections of one of the most exclusive international houses of luxury: Chanel. After the death of Karl Lagerfeld in 2019, the baton passed to the designer Virginie Viard, who has remained faithful to the DNA of the fashion house and has never stopped investing in the product and sustainability, with one eye continuously focused on manufacturing excellence.
Production with a highly artisan flavor, in which Italy, with its historic manufacturing activities, plays a fundamental role. Since the acquisition of the Italian shoe factory Roveda in 1999, the fashion house has in fact acquired over time a further eight companies specialized in footwear, leather goods, tannery and textiles, all essential partners for the creation of its collections.
This virtuous relationship was also the topic of discussion on 7 June in Florence, in a special masterclass held by the president of fashion and president of Chanel SAS Bruno Pavlovsky, moderated by Tyler Brûlé, president and editorial director of Monocle magazine, to an audience of over 200 students at the Politecnico di Milano and other Italian schools specializing in fashion and design. The masterclass centered the attention of the new generation of fashion on the importance of knowing how to make a successful product, which today must also respond to the canons of sustainability in the research of materials for production but also in the manufacturing involved in its creation.
The masterclass was a lead-up to an exclusive event: the replica of the 2021/22 Métiers d'art Show at Stazione Leopolda. After the debut in Paris in December 2021 at 19M–the building created in Paris by CHANEL and dedicated to the Métiers d'art de la Mode–the collection was presented once again to an audience of journalists, clients and celebrities with close ties to the Maison.
The goal is to leverage the expertise of the Politecnico in order to develop new models that take into account the rapid and profound changes in luxury manufacturing
The show was attended by brand ambassadors, Penélope Cruz, Caroline de Maigret and Angèle, together with the director and friend of the Maison Sofia Coppola, the Italian actresses Coco Rebecca Edogamhe, Linda Caridi, Fotini Peluso, Alma Noce and Caterina De Angelis, DJs Peggy Gou, Wladimir Schall and Amandine de la Richardière, as well as the group Le Feste Antonacci and choreographer Dimitri Chamblas. An opportunity to talk about manufacturing excellence and the sustainability strategies adopted by luxury fashion houses, which in the case of Chanel–in line with the sustainable transformation of the Maison's activities initiated several years ago–has led to a partnership with the Politecnico di Milano.
The goal is to leverage the expertise of the Politecnico in order to develop new models that take into account the rapid and profound changes in luxury manufacturing and also support and accelerate innovation, research and development of more sustainable materials and production processes in the sectors essential for the Maison's activity. “Conducting this applied research, in close collaboration with the expert researchers at the Politecnico di Milano, will help to enrich the academic corpus of the university,” said the Maison “and, at the same time, Chanel will launch initiatives of recruitment, talent promotion and continuous training for its own staff.
The Politecnico di Milano–which is home to 47,000 Italian and international students–is the leading university in Italy in science and technology, specializing in engineering, architecture and design.” Through this collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, Chanel consolidates its positioning in the Italian industrial landscape and reaffirms its commitment to international academic institutions of excellence.
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