Chanel has announced that its Métiers d’Art will operate from a new headquarters in 2020. This is Chanel’s first factory office to house more than one Métiers d’Art discipline within a single working site.
Currently located in parts as well as around the northeastern suburbs of Paris (Pantin and Aubervilliers), a selection of ateliers will move to the new headquarters in Paris’ Porte d’Aubervilliers — a locale between the City of Light’s 19th arrondissement and commune of Aubervilliers.
The extensive building project has been assigned to the French architect Rudy Ricciotti. Boasting five floors and two basements, the state-of-the-art establishment will have a whopping floor space of 25,500 square meters.
Chanel’s connection with its Métiers d’Art dates back to the working relationships fostered by its late foundress, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. In 1954, Mademoiselle Chanel commissioned Robert Goosens, a master jeweler, to create the brand’s iconic Baroque-inspired costume jewellery, while in 1957, the partnership with the skilled cobbler, Massaro, saw the birth of the brand’s beloved and classic two-toned pump.
Today, both French houses are owned by Chanel (Massaro was purchased in 2002 and Goosens in 2005). Regrouped under Paraffection (a subsidiary Chanel company whose name translates from French as “for the love of”), the objective of the venture was to perpetuate the legacies of traditional French ateliers whom supported and supplied high fashion maisons (aside to Chanel) with their skilled crafts and expertise.
Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at Chanel concludes:
“This remarkable and ambitious project will be a place to serve both creation and innovation between the Métiers d’Art and the House of Chanel, as well as the Métiers d’Art and their other clients… This new Parisian real estate development will be unique as much by its urban and architectural qualities as by its functionality and its objectives — in terms of innovation and sustainable development.”
The Twelve Apostles
Since 1985, Chanel has acquired a stable of skilled artisans, each belonging to a unique discipline in traditional fashion crafts. These crafts range from couture-style embroidery to shoe-making, metalwork, hat-making and more.
To date, Paraffection has snapped up a total of 12 fashion suppliers/ateliers, all of whom are grouped officially under Chanel’s prestigious Métiers d’Art label.
Read on for more on each of Chanel’s Métiers d’Art maisons.
Founded in 1880, this Parisian maison is famous for its expertise in feather crafts. Bought over by Chanel in 1996, Lemarié is also responsible for producing Chanel’s iconic camellia flowers in every material imaginable — think tweed, fur, silks, paper…
One of the most revered houses in fashion history, Lesage (founded in 1924) has worked with some of fashion’s early greats: Paquin, Madeleine Vionnet, Poiret, Elsa Schiaperrelli… Known for its expertise in embroidery, the maison joined the Chanel family in 2002, but — like its Métiers d’Art counterparts — continues to do business with other high-end fashion houses today, too. Check out how tweed, one of Chanel’s key icons is made, here.
3. Maison Michel
Bought over by Chanel in 1997, this reputable millinery was founded in 1936 by Auguste Michel, and known for its partnerships with Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin — just to name a few.
A gold and silversmith, the house of Goossens became part of the French Marquis’ Métiers d’Art in 2005, and is responsible for the manufacturing and supply of costume jewellery.
As Chanel’s other jewellery supplier, Desrues (established in 1936 and acquired by Chanel in 1985) specialises in metalwork, which includes the making of Chanel’s fanciful buttons.
The house of Causse was founded in Millau (the historic capital of luxury gloves in France) by Paul Causse in 1892. Joining the Métiers d’Art in 2012, the partnership between this glove-maker and Chanel began with collaborations on the fashion house’s Haute Couture and Ready-to-Wear collections.
This maison is one of the few surviving ateliers in France to offer its unique skills in couture-esque pleating. Lognon finally became part of the Métiers d’Art in 2013 after fostering a relationship with Chanel via work for its Haute Couture collections.
The other embroiderers to join the Métiers d’Art stable in 2011, Atelier Montex is renowned for its precise and fine needle-point technique known in Europe as Lunéville embroidery.
Marlène Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and Romy Schneider were all clients of this iconic Parisian shoemaker. Inducted into the Métiers d’Art in 2002, Massaro is — but, of course — the cobbler who realized Coco Chanel’s vision for a dual colour-tone pump with a practical 6cm heel.
Known as the “flou” specialist, this sewing workshop was during its humble beginnings in the early Eighties, an exclusive supplier of fabric creations for Chanel. Today, it provides other couture houses with its expertise in handling delicate fabrics and is involved in more than just the creative process for every Chanel collection, but also in the development of fabrics required to realise each design, too.
11. A.C.T. 3
A producer of tweed, this company’s acronym stands for Association Création Textile. In 2014, it was bought over by Lesage, being that it supplied tweeds for the French embroiderers since 2003.
Founded in 1903, this Scottish knitwear company has worked with Chanel for more than 25 years to produce pieces such as the iconic two-tone cashmere cardigans. It joined the Métiers d’Art in 2012.
All images courtesy of Chanel, all rights reserved.