Chanel - part III

Like I mentioned before, Chanel's presence in the digital world with regard to online selling, is very minimal (only fragrance and beauty products are available online). Chanel as the brand, however, is quite visible. Chanel's Facebook page has 7 mln. fans and its Twitter website has 1 mln followers. Opinions about the company from friends of the brand, highly influential and respected people, are always welcome.

"The most important thing is that people can talk about the brand. Two years ago we were not able to tweet. Now we tweet more or less every week. But we need have something to say. We do not tweet just to tweet".

Pavlovsky considers Chanel the most creative brand in the fashion world. In fact, the word "creative" is probably the second most used word (after the word "Chanel") in his whole interview.

 

A lot of praise goes obviously to Karl Lagerfeld. The famous designer, who controls tightly the legendary fashion house, is described as its chief visionary. Lagerfeld took the helm at Chanel almost 30 years ago (a little more than a decade after the death of the brand's founder), in 1983. He updated the Chanel look, introduced modern fabrics, revamped the company's clothing designs, keeping in mind its mystique. Lagerfeld is almost always admired and respected, his collections receive mostly raving reviews, fashion critics complement his creativity and brilliance. So it must came as an unusual and unpleasant surprise, when esteemed fashion critic Robin Givhan proclaimed Lagerfeld "overrated" (in her article in "Newsweek" in January of this year). Givhan worked for many years for "The Washington Post" and is currently fashion editor for "Newsweek". She is highly respected, well educated and the only fashion critic, who has ever received prestigious Pulitzer Prize (in 2006 for her "witty, closely observed essays that transform fashion criticism into cultural criticism"). Yes, Givhan criticized Lagerfeld (as probably one of very few), but she did it in very respectful and elegant manner. Just because she called him "overrated" doesn't mean that she doesn't find him "supremely talented and culturally influential".

"Lagerfeld took vocabulary established by Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel - the nubby boucle jackets, easy cardigans, multiple strands of pearls, camellias- and used it to speak in a brasher, more contemporary manner. Lagerfeld expanded Mademoiselle's philosophy of good taste and comfort to connect the brand to everything from urbane hip-hop to glorious haute couture, from ignoble logos to brash consumerism. He did all of this to great financial and critical success. What Lagerfeld did not do is add to the vocabulary itself. If a great designer is judged by a silhouette he has popularized, a sensibility he has nurtured, or an aesthetic that is unmistakably his own, then Lagerfeld has failed (...) Lagerfeld is the personality who guides the Chanel brand. But the designer has never shifted Chanel away from the all-consuming presence of Coco, not in the way that Ford established himself as the hypersexual essence of Gucci or the way in which Sarah Burton is moving Alexander McQueen away from the emotionally freighted yearnings of the individual and toward a more dispassionate corporate entity".

What was Lagerfeld's response? He claimed that Givhan does not deserve her fame and recognition and he trashed "Newsweek" and its editor in chief.

 

Jak wspomniałam wcześniej, Chanel jest marką minimalnie obecną w świecie wirtualnym, jeśli chodzi o sprzedaż swoich produktów w sieci (tylko perfumy i kosmetyki można zakupić w internecie). Jednak Chanel jako marka jest jak najbardziej widoczna, ma 7 mln fanów na Facebooku, a 1 mln na Twitterze. Opinie znanych osób ze świata mody i filmu na temat marki i wizje jej rozwoju, są chętnie brane pod uwagę przez kadrę zarządzającą.

"The most important thing is that people can talk about the brand. Two years ago we were not able to tweet. Now we tweet more or less every week. But we need have something to say. We do not tweet just to tweet".

Pavlovsky uważa Chanel za najbardziej kreatywną markę w świecie mody. Odniosłam wrażenie, że słowo "kreatywny", odmieniane przez wszystkie przypadki, było drugim (po słowie Chanel) najczęściej używanym podczas wywiadu. Oczywiście dyrektor mody nie zapomina o pochwałach i zachwytach pod adresem Karla Lagerfelda, określa go jako wizjonera. Lagerfeld został projektantem Chanel prawie 30 lat temu (w 1983 roku, czyli niewiele ponad 10 lat po śmierci samej Coco Chanel), unowocześnił wizerunek marki, sięgnął po nowe tkaniny, nie zapominając jednocześnie o tradycjach. Projektant jest prawie zawsze chwalony, podziwiany, jego kolekcje spotykają się z pozytywnymi recenzjami, pełnymi "ochów" i "achów". Nic więc dziwnego, że opinia słynnej dziennikarki modowej Robin Givhan, która uznała Lagerfelda za "overrated", musiała spotkać się z dużym zaskoczeniem i niezadowoleniem samego zainteresowanego. Artykuł krytykujący Lagerfelda znalazł się w styczniowym wydaniu "Newsweeka". Givhan jest uważana za jedną z najlepszych i wysoko cenionych dziennikarek modowych. Przez wiele lat pracowała dla "The Washington Post", obecnie pracuje dla "Newsweeka". Jest inteligentną, szanowaną i świetnie wykształconą dziennikarką, która jako jedyna (w dziedzinie dziennikarstwa modowego) zdobyła w 2006 roku prestiżową Nagrodę Pulitzera (za "witty, closely observed essays that transform fashion criticism into cultural criticism"). Rzeczywiście, Givhan skrytykowała Lagerfelda, ale zrobiła to w elegancki i kulturalny sposób. Nazwała go wprawdzie "overrated", jednak przyznała, że jest również "supremely talented and culturally influential". Pozwolę sobie zacytować fragment jej artykułu, gdyż jest on po prostu świetnie napisany (chodzi mi tu o stronę semantyczną, z merytoryczną można się zgodzić lub nie): "Lagerfeld took vocabulary established by Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel - the nubby boucle jackets, easy cardigans, multiple strands of pearls, camellias- and used it to speak in a brasher, more contemporary manner. Lagerfeld expanded Mademoiselle's philosophy of good taste and comfort to connect the brand to everything from urbane hip-hop to glorious haute couture, from ignoble logos to brash consumerism. He did all of this to great financial and critical success. What Lagerfeld did not do is add to the vocabulary itself. If a great designer is judged by a silhouette he has popularized , a sensibility he has nurtured, or an aesthetic that is unmistakably his own, then Lagerfeld has failed (...) Lagerfeld is the personality who guides the Chanel brand. But the designer has never shifted Chanel away from the all-consuming presence of Coco, not in the way that Ford established himself as the hypersexual essence of Gucci or the way in which Sarah Burton is moving Alexander McQueen away from the emotionally freighted yearnings of the individual and toward a more dispassionate corporate entity".

Jak zareagował na ten artykuł sam Lagerfeld? Przede wszystkim określił Givhan jako nic nie znaczącą dziennikarkę, a "Newsweek" oraz jego redaktor naczelną zmieszał z błotem.

 

Ewa Bytomska

 

 

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