Chanel was forced to cancel its Cruise 2021 show, scheduled for May 7 in Capri, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but the brand was still able to channel the Italian island vibe for its Cruise 2021 lookbook. It's the first time Chanel has shown a collection without the accompanying grand-scale runway show at a far-flung locale, instead shooting the looks in Paris on a summer-inspired set.
Creative Director Virginie Viard has made the best of working in lockdown, designing with materials already in the Chanel factories after they opened in mid-April.
"We reused everything we had; all the leftover buttons and thread. We made the knits with yarns we had in stock. That saved us time," she told WWD.
Viard also noted that factories will also be able to work with the fabrics they already have in stock. It's a move that makes things easier, not only for a fashion house opening up in the wake of a pandemic, but one working toward a more sustainable business model.
Still, Chanel is one of the few brands that has spoken out in favor of keeping the fashion calendar the same once the industry returns to business as usual. While many designers have said they will be scaling down, presenting fewer collections or finding alternatives to runway shows, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion and president of Chanel SAS, has said that the house will remain steadfast in its commitment to six runway shows a year.
"We're sorry we couldn't do a show, but the conditions didn't allow it. But I hope we can return to the runway in October, whether it's behind closed doors or with a small audience," Pavlovsky told WWD. "A fashion show is still the best way to narrate a collection, and it's very important for us in stores afterwards, because it's the beginning of the story."
See Chanel's Cruise 2021 lookbook, starring Mica Argañaraz, below.