IN THE BAG: Karl Lagerfeld’s latest handbag design for Chanel — dubbed the Gabrielle — will be featured in a campaign fronted by Kristen Stewart, WWD has learned.
Chanel’s couturier, who also lenses the French brand’s fashion and eyewear advertising, has scheduled a shoot this week at an undisclosed location outside of Paris.
A face of Chanel makeup, Stewart has appeared in fashion campaigns for Chanel’s Métiers d’Art collections, and appeared in a movie Lagerfeld directed for his “Paris in Rome” effort in December 2015.
Lagerfeld also photographed Stewart for a handbag campaign in 2015 that also starred Vanessa Paradis and Alice Dellal. For those spots, Stewart posed with the iconic 11.12 handbag, and has proven to be something of a chameleon in her Chanel guise — ultrasophisticated one moment, sultry the next.
“She is a real personality. I don’t compare her to any other actress and she is really modern, whatever that means,” Lagerfeld said in an interview earlier this year. “And I think that she is perfect for the Chanel image of today.”
Stewart returned the compliment about the man on the other side of the camera.
“Karl directs photo shoots and always provides an environment for a story to unfold. And the way that occurs is very natural. But always under his guidance, which is felt and inspiring,” she said at the same time. “It’s never labor intensive because that is against the nature of spontaneous art.”
The Gabrielle bag, unveiled on Chanel’s spring runway, is one of those simple yet ingenious designs at which Lagerfeld excels. He got the idea from looking at virtual reality goggles and upending the shape. Cue a flat-bottomed, neo hobo with an ingenious double chain handle that straddles both shoulders for ease of carrying, and security.
Part two of the Gabrielle communication onslaught debuts on April 3rd: A campaign lensed by its couturier Karl Lagerfeld and devoted to the Gabrielle handbag.
The ads feature four diverse personalities — including the first man in a Chanel handbag campaign: Pharrell Williams. Lagerfeld depicted him on a concert stage wearing a croc version of the bag cross-body. Kristen Stewart, Cara Delevingne and Caroline de Magret are also featured, each exuding a different allure — seductive, streetwise and quintessentially Parisian, respectively.
Slated to start arriving in stores in March, the Gabrielle bag is meant to become a “pillar” style for Chanel, and is considered the first major new model since the Boy, introduced in 2011.
The bag — which comes in about half-a-dozen iterations, and in a variety of colors and materials, from classic black lambskin to exotic leathers — is to retail from $3,000 up to $33,000 for a large alligator version.
Chanel plans to reprise its Paris-Cosmopolite show — the name for its pre-fall Metiers d’Art ready-to-wear collection embellished by the couture ateliers it owns — in Japan at the end of May, in tandem with a special event around the Gabrielle bag.