PARIS — Chanel has rescheduled its Métiers d’Art show, due to take place in Paris on Dec. 5, because of a national strike expected to start that day. The house said on Thursday it would hold the show a day early on Dec. 4 instead.
It’s not the first time social upheaval has forced a luxury house to alter its plans. In January, Dior moved its men’s show forward by a day due to the “gilets jaunes,” or yellow vests, antigovernment protests.
The December strike promises to be a major stand-off between the government and unions, with railway workers, public transport staff, airline ground crew, teachers and postal workers set to stage a coordinated walkout against plans to reform the French pension system.
Chanel’s Métiers d’Art 2019-20 collection will be the first designed exclusively by Virginie Viard, Karl Lagerfeld’s longtime right hand, who took over creative direction of the house following the designer’s death in February.
The collection traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for New York for Chanel Métiers d’Art 2018-2019 and Lagerfeld’s native Hamburg, Germany, in 2017. It hadn’t been presented in France since the Paris Cosmopolite collection at the Ritz in 2016, in honor of the luxury hotel’s reopening.
Lagerfeld introduced this pre-fall ready-to-wear collection — embellished with the specialty couture ateliers Chanel owns — in 2002. Previous destinations for the Métiers d’Art show include Edinburgh, Scotland; Shanghai; Rome, and Dallas.
Chanel has invested heavily in Paris in recent years as it seeks to burnish the French capital’s credentials as the “capital of fashion.”
In February 2018, the house signed on as the exclusive private sponsor of the renovation of the Grand Palais with plans to pledge 25 million euros toward the works, which are due to be completed in time for the Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024.
Next year, Chanel plans to open a sprawling new site in Aubervilliers housing most of the 26 specialty ateliers it controls through its Paraffection subsidiary, which includes feather maker Lemarié, embroiderers Maison Lesage and Atelier Montex, shoemaker Massaro, milliner Maison Michel and cashmere specialist Barrie. Designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti, it will group more than 600 employees over five floors and two basements.