NEW YORK — No more croco for Coco.
On the eve of its pre-fall Metiers d’Art show here at the Met, Chanel said Monday it would “no longer use exotic skins in our future creations.”
“The future of high-end products will come from the know-how of what our atelier is able to do,” Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel fashion and president of Chanel SAS, said in an interview, hinting that some examples of such craftsmanship would be paraded in the show, which showcases the capabilities of the specialty couture ateliers Chanel owns.
The exotic skins in question include crocodile, lizard, snake and stingray. Pavlovsky noted the list also includes fur, of which Chanel uses very little.
Pavlovsky explained that it was becoming increasingly difficult to source skins that met the house’s quality and ethical standards, and that it would focus its research and development on textiles and leathers generated by “agri-food” industries.
Chanel already utilizes tweeds that are not really tweeds at all, but complicated embroideries that are difficult to copy.
The executive noted that it would take some time for existing products in exotic skins to work their way out of its boutique distribution. He declined to pinpoint the value of Chanel’s exotic skin business.
Chanel’s couturier Karl Lagerfeld said he couldn’t remember doing fur at Chanel, while the founder Gabrielle Chanel might have possessed a panther coat and a sable top. “You look at old collections, there was not much fur,” he recalled.
As for exotic skins, “there is a problem of supply and that was not Chanel’s business anyway,” he said. “We did it because it’s in the air, but it’s not an air people imposed to us. It’s a free choice.”