Bruno Pavlovsky, president of the Chanel house: “Our commitment, to continue to inspire and make young people want to come to these professions”

Neither listed on the stock exchange nor constrained by an investment fund, Chanel had unveiled some figures last year, recognizing in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic a drop in its turnover of 18%, to 10 billion euros. But the luxury house had also announced record investments, to the tune of one billion euros. In the middle of Fashion Week, the fashion president of Chanel answered questions from franceinfo.

franceinfo: How is Chanel doing after two years of global pandemic?

Bruno Pavlovsky: Clients travel less, of course, but we are interested in the house and we are interested in what we wear. Today, there is genuine interest in our stores from our local customers. It’s a collection, it’s products, it’s storytelling to create something very special with the brand.

What becomes of the house without Karl Lagerfeld, who embodied Chanel for 35 years?

But the house has Virginie Viard, who is also talented! She has a real vision for the brand and so her proposition is maybe a little bit different, but something that is just as fascinating. And our clients love what Virginie does.

Are you managing to recruit, despite the situation?

We get there, of course, but it’s never enough. We have more and more young people, since a third of our workforce is under 30 years old. And our commitment is really to be able to continue to inspire and make young people want to join and come to these professions.

Is luxury now almost the only way for French exports?

I don’t think it’s the only way, but as President Macron says, there is an influence of France today through these professions, which are embodied by these products which combine creation, know-how exceptional craftsmanship and materials. And that’s what makes luxury shine abroad. So it’s important that we can continue to develop all that.

Chanel is a global company, present in many countries, in many business sectors. And so, it is important that from our headquarters in London, all of this is organized, with a new general manager. This is a new step in the development of the brand, completely legitimate, given the size that all this represents.

What does the loss of a muse like Gaspard Ulliel, who died last Wednesday, mean?

First, it’s a lot of sadness. Gaspard had been close to the house for many years. He is an exceptional character, very endearing, very cultured. Obviously, it will be a loss for Chanel, but for the moment, we will first think of him, his family and his friends, before imagining what we will be able to do behind it. But obviously, you don’t live twelve years with someone without having created unique relationships. And disappearances like that are always tragic.

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