The ski and swimwear lines will be timed to hit stores from June to ensure a strong in-season component. Lagerfeld said he got the idea while on summer vacation in Saint-Tropez, where he noticed the Chanel store lacked a strong assortment of beach gear.
In addition to his biannual ready-to-wear collections, the designer is responsible for two couture shows, a cruise collection and the annual Métiers d’Art line. He also oversees the pre-collections that are shown internally to buyers from Chanel’s boutiques worldwide.
Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel, said the capsules were meant to respond to customers’ immediate needs.
“We have around 30 stores in seaside locations, and during the months of June and July, when towns such as Cannes, Nice, Capri, Barcelona and [cities in] Florida are incredibly busy, the stores are carrying winter collections,” he said.
“These tactical launches are designed to better satisfy the needs of our customers and to find the best way to communicate to them the fact that these items exist,” Pavlovsky added.
The Coco Beach line includes swimsuits, bikinis, bandannas, terry cloth beach cover-ups, denim pieces, bags and espadrilles. The swimwear comes in black, with a satiny oversized appliqué double-C logo, or with a hand-painted lattice motif, on a pink or red background, which also appears on the accessories.
It will be introduced in 26 stores beginning in June.
The Coco Neige collection will have a wider distribution, hitting Chanel stores in July and August in tandem with its fall collections. It will also be available in ski resorts such as Courchevel, where Chanel has a temporary store during the winter months.
The line was unveiled to store buyers in Paris alongside the house’s pre-fall collection. It features technical items, such as tweed-trimmed down jackets and nylon ski pants; casual pieces, like a black hoodie with a quilted camellia motif, and accessories including shearling boots and bags.
“The idea is to skew more toward technical clothes, because I think both après-ski and sport are largely covered in our existing collections. So this is a way of taking the time to work on products that are a little bit more technical and that require more time in terms of development,” Pavlovsky said.
Some of the pieces, such as a light green quilted coat, feature a badge with a Coco Neige logo on the sleeve or hood. “The idea is to give these products visibility by putting the name of the capsule on them,” he said.
Pavlovsky said it was the combination of the Métiers d’Art, pre-fall collection and main fall ready-to-wear line, which was presented in Paris on March 6, that guarantees the success of the season in stores.
“Karl has worked on every piece, he has seen everything. He is very involved and he always wants it to work. That’s what’s important. This is not a second-tier collection. The energy that has been put behind it is the same,” he said.