Mad for Chanel


I am mad for Chanel. Now that is something we can all agree on. And something I recently dove into at Le Grand Número de Chanel exhibition in Paris.

The incredible craftsmanship and Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s personality behind the brand are the drive for the success of the French Maison.

Adding incredible designers to help the storytelling of Chanel between fashion, fragrances, or celebrity status has also been the guiding light behind the brand. When Karl Lagerfeld started working for the brand, he made it new and exciting for the younger audience.

The respect and honour behind every garment made them scream “Chanel”, while making them seem like every piece was both iconic and new. Not many other designers and brands can keep the gravitas of the brand’s heritage and make it exciting and riveting.

Plus, what is most incredible is how Chanel can maintain its griffe worldwide status and still be so close to its clients. Aspiring or not. It’s intriguing how close every Parisian feels to Chanel. It’s a fashion luxury brand, and a household name that people nurture.

That is what is behind the strategy of many retail experiences, like temporary window shop designs for a certain collection, or holiday festivity, for example. Or the use of social media and influencers who make brands attainable – to a certain extent.

This past year Chanel offered an experience like no other to celebrate 100 years since the launch of the now classic fragrance nº5.

Available for 3 weeks only, the French powerhouse presented an exhibit called “Le Grand Número” at the Petit Palais in Paris, right in front of the Eiffel Tower. Each entrance was free of charge, but places were few, and you needed to enroll in advance. This young lady enrolled as soon as Instagram promoted the event. And after securing two entries, there was nothing else to do but to organise a trip to Paris. Solely to see the Chanel dream exhibition up close.

Scenography - ESPACE CENTRAL Le Grand Número de Chanel
Scenography – Central Stage © CHANEL

After being greeted by circus presenters, a curtain would open to welcome you to the Circus of The Big Number. There were five rooms, each presented with the image of a fragrance. Nº 5, Chance, Coco Mademoiselle, Bleu de Chanel and Les Exclusif de Chanel.

chanel n5 Le Grand Número exhibition paris
Scenography – N°5 Au fond: Portrait de Gabrielle Chanel par Boris Lipnitzki, 1936 © Boris Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet

In each room, you entered an imaginative narrative filled with amazing smells and stories. From seeing every advertisement of Nº5 and the secrets to its packaging to the spy gear extravaganza of Coco Mademoiselle. The lottery games that enticed to “take a chance”, or the perfect city world behind Bleu. And finally, a room where you could smell every fragrance of Chanel. And find the perfect one according to your personality. If there ever was a city of blinding lights, then it was inside this circus.

In the end, everyone received a Chanel tote bag with a poster of Le Grand Número exhibition inside. A personal goody bag by Chanel… Just for you!

For me, it’s my first Chanel bag… And I will treasure it as such… Until I am able to gift another one to myself in the future.

Words by @madforyou_lhm
All Images Copyrighted and Owned by CHANEL

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