Parisian fashion house, Chanel, has already had itself quite the week- and it’s only Wednesday! Following in the footsteps of Gucci and Burberry, on Monday, Chanel announced that they are no longer going to be using fur in any of their products. This has been seen by many other brands, and even celebrities, who have come forward about stopping their use of real fur in their everyday wardrobe; overall, helping the environment. Along with stopping the use of fur, Chanel also announced they would stop producing products that are made from exotic skins such as crocodiles, snakeskin, alligator, and stingray.
That was just Monday; on Tuesday, Chanel held their annual Métiers d’Art spectacle, a multi-million-dollar fashion show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the very famous Egyptian Wing. This show doubles as a tribute to the 26 Chanel-owned ateliers that specialize in skills like embroidery, pleating, and button-making along with it being a high-wattage event.
While all of these events just took place in the past 48 hours, Chanel’s business has also had a remarkable year. For the first time in the 108-year history of the brand, Chanel revealed its worldwide revenue at a whopping $9.6 billion in 2017 which is almost a 12% increase from a year earlier. The House of Chanel is privately owned and is under control of the very secretive Wertheimer family who established a holding company for its global operations in London. Since they have established headquarters in London, there have been many changes to Chanel’s structure of management. Bruno Pavlovsky, who is the president of Chanel fashion, doubles as the president of Chanel SAS.
Bruno didn’t make a huge deal about the move to London and said that Alain Wertheimer chose this destination because it’s a good place for a holding company not necessarily because the brand is going to change in any way- it’s business as usual for Chanel. Pavlovsky also addressed the rumors about former Celine designer, Phoebe Philo, who might take over the job of Karl Lagerfeld. He said he heard the rumors and finds it funny, it’s nothing serious. People within the universe at Chanel think that Virginie Viard will be the successor of Largerfeld.
Alain Wetheimer, who is the grandson of Pierre Wetheimer who also worked with Gabrielle Chanel early in her career, was appointed to the role of chief executive and thought it would be temporary, but now it is believed he will stay there indefinitely.
Despite the internal changes going on, Chanel is in the middle of a transformation and it is predicted that soon they will have a complete generational change. Today, Pavlovsky has his eyes on the market in NYC where their local strategy is to target local shoppers who compensate for the unpredictable changes in tourism. They will be achieving this by bringing back their new and improved 57th Street flagship store and the Métiers d’Art spectacle, which returned after being silent for more than 10 years.
As usual, Chanel works to show their creativity through fashion shows, but also aim to show the value of their product through their craftsmanship of their pieces. While doing this, they are also changing their material uses such as fur and high-margin exotic skins, which is a very bold move for such a luxurious brand.
While some of these changes might seem miniscule, they will play a large role in the overall brand image. These changes are seen by consumers as more ethical because of the lower use of real fur and animal skins. With these changes more sustainability can be brought to the fashion industry.