“I think Virginie must have suffered because he was not a performer,” said Pavlovsky. “Maybe a misogynist. But the client is really positive. If you get criticized today, I think it means you did something well. He’s the best for the job.”
As far as that digital resort collection goes, there are two aspects, he suggests. “The numbers are important. We had 264 million hits, which is about the same as the year before, when we were doing a physical show. And what’s interesting is the engagement is better. So if I were a statistician I would be very happy. But I don’t want to. just being a statistician.
“Our work at Chanel is not just about numbers but emotions – and even if Virginie did a great job trying to capture the emotions in the collection, I would probably conclude that they are not the best. [medium] for us. It’s all about live performances, every story we tell as a brand starts with that. “
It must have happened in the past. Spectacular, wonderful chanel staging has created some of the biggest fashion stories of the decade, from the rodeo in Dallas to the now famous Chanel supermarket at the Grand Palais Paris. There, the cornflakes and washing liquid embellished with Coco profiles prove catnip to showgoers, who can’t help but take off the set after the show with a precision that can teach your average looter a thing or two.
But isn’t this era of exaggerated events, with their enormous carbon footprint, let alone their exaggerated message, over?
A faint chuckle came over the line. The kind you hear from good tutors when an idealistic student has just come up with a silly idea. “The planes are still flying. Business still needs to be done. Fashion week is still the most important thing for the economy. I can’t say for sure there will be a fashion week in Paris, but I think we have to find a way to make it happen in the future. We definitely aim to return. with the Cruises collection with a live audience on November 15. “
To those hoping a pandemic will become a fashion big opportunity to reset, this all seems anti-climactic. What about the waste of all that show? It’s not that Chanel doesn’t care about the environment, says Pavlovsky. No brand today can afford not to. They keep pace like crazy, he pointed out. While there is endless debate about the efficacy and ethics of it, there are some important steps that the house has taken. “Fourteen of the 50 appearances on cruise ships were made with environmentally friendly materials,” he said. “It’s the first time we’ve had this level of transparency and we want to do more and more than that.”
As for the reason Chanel raised the price of its bags, it was not to exploit the global health crisis, he explained patiently, but because manufacturing and material costs had gone up. “It’s getting harder and harder to get the best quality leather and protect the source. We care about animal welfare and make sure we take care of it too.”
Chanel no longer sells exotic skins as it cannot guarantee traceability to its own satisfaction. It invests in tanning to make it cleaner and greener. And what’s worth noting is doing this not because of pressure from the market, but because the home feels it’s the right thing to do. “To be honest, I don’t know if all of our customers care that much about where their skin comes from. But the next generation, and so do we.”
There is another, more pragmatic argument for price increases, of course. Over the years, queues of Chinese customers have become a common sight outside of major European shops for the simple reason that goods here are cheaper. “We need to align prices around the world. Four years ago, we reduced it by 20 percent in Asia and increased it by 20 percent in Europe, which was the first visible increase. Then we had inflation …”
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