It’s been a productive week for Chanel. Not only did the luxury French fashion house strengthen its portfolio of specialty métiers, it also unveiled 19m: the very building that will become a hub for its Métiers d’Art, set to open next year.
Located in the northeast of Paris at Place Skanderbeg, the 25,000-square-metre building designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti will bring together 10 houses that operate within Chanel’s Paraffection division, including Lesage on embroidery, Lemarié on feathers and flowers, Maison Michel on millinery, and Eres on swimwear. A subsidiary of Chanel, the division was launched in 1997 to preserve and promote the heritage, craft, and manufacture of fashion artisan workshops – something which is celebrated by Chanel each year through exclusive collections that take place across the globe from Dallas to Mumbai.
Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel Fashion and President of Chanel SAS, told Fashionnetwork.com that it would be an “open house, a meeting place with diversity. A centre where artisans, the public, schools and students and lovers of art in the neighbourhood can meet.” It also includes a 1,200-square-metre exhibition space.
Of the name 19m, Pavlovsky said: “Because M for Métiers d’Art; M for la mode (fashion), M for le main (hand) and M for maison (fashion house) and manufacture, showing our absolute attachment to these artisans. And 19 because we are in the 19th arrondissement and because it was the day that Gabrielle Chanel was born.”
While Chanel has long been invested in its support for Métiers d’Art, in its unveiling of 19m, the luxury label joins Hermès, Gucci, and LVMH, all of whom have similar landmarks. Hermès has its Cité des Métier workshops and a series of offices not too far from Chanel's 19m in fact, in Porte de Pantin, that includes a leather workshop; Gucci has its ArtLab near Florence and its Ecole de l’Amour; while LVMH has Atelier de Beaulieu-sur-Layon.