CHANEL NUMBER FIFTY: A discreet and elegant force in Chanel’s public relations department, which she initiated in 1971, Marie-Louise de Clermont-Tonnerre is to exit the French fashion house this month after an illustrious career spanning 50 years.
Calling her “a woman of taste, culture, influence and networks at the highest level,” Pavlovsky noted that de Clermont-Tonnere defined Chanel’s public relations and press organization across fashion, beauty and watches and jewelry, defining the values and the “demanding strategic vision of these departments in the service of designers and products.”
Among landmarks during her long and storied tenure was initiating its heritage department, and buying Gabrielle Chanel’s creations from the 1930s and 1960s, long before vintage became fashionable. She was also instrumental in the preservation and promotion of emblematic Chanel locations, including the founder’s apartment at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris, ultimately designated a historical monument by the French government.
She witnessed the birth of Chanel ready-to-wear, the arrival of Karl Lagerfeld, the first watch by Jacques Helleu and the launch of high jewelry.
“She has left an indelible mark on the house, helping to reinforce the image of elegance, authenticity and Parisian spirit that characterize Chanel,” Pavlovsky wrote.