Created in 2002 to pay tribute to the French fashion savoir-faire endlessly reinvented in a constant dialogue between the House of CHANEL and the artisans, the CHANEL Métiers d’art collection is, each year, an exceptional rendezvous.
Presented in December, outside the official show calendar, this Ready-to-Wear collection unique to CHANEL, is always themed with a destination – real or imaginary – linked to the history or current events of the House.
Today, the collection expresses the creative power of Virginie Viard, Artistic Director of Fashion collections, and combines the expertise of CHANEL's Métiers d’art circle, bringing together several hundred embroiderers, feather workers, paruriers, pleaters, shoemakers, hatters and glove-makers located in Paris, the rest of France and Italy.
Some decades after Gabrielle Chanel had been the first to call upon Paris’s best artisans, the need to protect, sustain and develop these enterprises, to support their capacity for innovation and global recognition, became an obvious mission to the House of CHANEL. It came into effect in 1985 with the acquisition of the parurier Desrues, followed by nearly forty more Maisons d’art and manufactories*, employing more than 6,600 people from different generations and backgrounds, all serving the creativity of CHANEL and the other big fashion houses – without exclusivity – in France and on the international scene.
In 2021, eleven Maisons d'art** will be moving into Le 19M, the new site established by CHANEL on the edge of the 19th arrondissement in Paris and its neighbouring town Aubervilliers, that will be dedicated to the fashion Métiers d’art. As independent entities, they will continue to work with all their clients according to the inspiration of designers.
A veritable bridge between tradition and innovation, this 25,500 m2 showcase imagined by the architect Rudy Ricciotti will meet the specific needs of the 600 artisans who will work there. This architectural oeuvre has been designed with energy efficiency in mind and aims to obtain the most demanding environmental certifications and labels. Le 19M will also house an inclusive and multidisciplinary creative space, dedicated to sharing, dialoguing and meeting with the public.
During the run-up to the CHANEL 2020/21 Métiers d’art show, the German photographer Juergen Teller produced a teaser and a series of photographs in the gardens and inside the Château de Chenonceau, an architectural masterpiece of the Renaissance located in the Loire Valley, in France. Also known as the “Château des Dames”, this exceptional place will serve as the backdrop to the collection imagined by Virginie Viard.
* The Maisons d’art are Lesage, Atelier Montex, Studio MTX, Lemarié, Causse, Goossens, Maison Michel, Massaro and Paloma. Lesage acquired Lanel in 2013, Lesage Intérieurs, Vastrakala and ACT3 in 2014. Guillet, Lognon and Legeron joined Lemarié respectively in 2006, in 2013 and in 2019.
The manufactories include Desrues, Barrie, Roveda, Gensi, Nillab, Imaj, Defiluxe, Vimar 1991, Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte, Ateliers de May, Denis & Fils, Les Moulinages de Riotord (which merged with Textiles Henri Lacroix in 2017), Hugotag Ennoblissement, Bodin-Joyeux, Mégisserie Richard, Tanneries Haas, Tannerie Degermann, Conceria Samanta, Gaiera and Colomer Leather Group. CHANEL also holds a stake in the companies Sophie Hallette, Corti, Mabi and Grandis.
** Le 19M will bring together the embroiderer Lesage, its École de broderie d’art and Lesage Intérieurs, the embroidery atelier Montex and its decoration department Studio MTX, the shoemaker Massaro, the feather and flower maker Lemarié, the hatter and milliner Maison Michel, the pleater Lognon, the grand flou atelier Paloma and the goldsmith Goossens. Also added to this prestigious list is Eres, the lingerie and swimwear reference brand, renowned for its savoir-faire and creativity.