EXCLUSIVE: Chanel to Show Its Métiers d’Art Collection in Hangzhou, China

Chanel plans to unveil its next Métiers d’Art collection on Dec. 3 in Hangzhou, China, signaling its show schedule remains on track despite its ongoing search for a creative director. 

A major economic and e-commerce hub, the city known as Paradise on Earth is known for its picturesque West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to a variety of temples, pagodas and gardens. Hangzhou is also a major center for the production of silk. 

The show reflects Chanel’s commitment to China despite a slowdown in luxury spending, amid celebrations of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China.

The house also confirmed plans to stage a repeat showing of its cruise 2025 collection in Hong Kong on Nov. 5.

Chanel last presented the Métiers d’Art line in China in 2009 with a collection designed by Karl Lagerfeld shown in Shanghai.

Last year, it staged its repeat cruise show in Shenzhen, marking its first major event in mainland China since before the pandemic. In 2020, Chanel was forced to cancel plans to restage its Métiers d’Art show in Beijing due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

chanel pre fall21

Chanel, pre-fall 2010

Courtesy of CHANEL

Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion and president of Chanel SAS, said the brand chose Hangzhou, praised by Marco Polo as the finest city in the world, because of its connection with the Coromandel lacquer screens in founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s Paris apartment.

“It’s an exceptional destination in China and it’s very inspiring for the Métiers d’Art collection. It’s the real landscape that inspired the screens that are in the apartment,” he told WWD.

“These screens are intriguing. There’s a whole story behind them, even if it is imaginary. We’ve had the opportunity to visit Hangzhou several times and we felt it had the same mysterious atmosphere,” Pavlovsky said. “It has all the ingredients to make for something exceptional, unique, that has never been done before.”

The collection will be designed by the in-house studio team following the departure of creative director Virginie Viard. Chanel said it hopes to name a successor soon, but has given no precise timetable for the hire. 

The brand has presented the Métiers d’Art line, timed around the pre-fall season, in cities as far-flung as Tokyo; New York; Rome; Edinburgh, Scotland; Salzburg, Austria; and Dallas. For the last two editions, it explored cities off the beaten luxury track with shows in Manchester, England; and Dakar, Senegal.

The Métiers d’Art collections celebrate the capabilities of the specialty ateliers Chanel has acquired through its Paraffection subsidiary. Several of them are now grouped at Le19M, a striking building designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti and located near Porte d’Aubervilliers, a working-class area north of Paris.

Le19M brings together embroiderer and tweed-maker Lesage, its embroidery school and Lesage Intérieurs; embroidery workshop Montex and its decoration department MTX; shoemaker Massaro; feather- and flower-maker Lemarié; milliner Maison Michel; pleater Lognon; grand flou atelier Paloma, and goldsmith Goossens.

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