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Chanel Presents History-Making Runway Show in Dakar, Senegal

It was one for the books

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Chanel showcased its Métiers d’art 2022/23 collection in Dakar, Senegal on Dec. 6. It was the luxury label’s first time presenting one of its collections on African soil, after previous showcases in Paris, Shanghai, New York, Tokyo, and Monte Carlo. “By choosing Dakar, the house wishes to make the savoir-faire of its métiers d’art resonate with the artistic and cultural energy of the city,” said the brand at the time of the announcement.

The show took place at the former Palais de Justice and was a celebration of the brand’s 11 ateliers, ranging from renowned embroiderer Lesage to hat-maker Maison Michel, now all housed at the Le19M building in the 19th arrondissement in Paris. Initiated by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel herself, Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show is an annual celebration of creatives — such as embroiderers, feather workers, goldsmiths and milliners — offering a platform for the design talents to showcase their unique craftsmanship and the breadth of their work. 

Chanel clients and brand ambassadors, flew in from all points of the globe to attend the history-making event, including South Korean singer Nana and Pharrell Williams, who said last month of the show, “To come there and do the exact opposite of colonization, I thought was quite interesting. Because it’s not just coming here to show. It’s actually working with the artisans, providing so many partnerships. That’s unprecedented.”

Ahead of the three-day-event, Chanel unveiled the new Métiers d’Art collection via a series of images shot by Senegalese model and photographer Malick Bodian and Sierra Leone-born designer Ibrahim Kamara, featuring models Alaato Jazyper and part-Algerian Loli Bahia by the River Seine in Paris. The luxury brand also unveiled a collection of short films shot by French-Malian filmmaker Ladj Ly and his Kourtrajmé collective, who run a school in Dakar. In the four part documentary, Kourtrajmé filmmakers capture rehearsals with Germaine Acogny’s École des Sables dancers and choreographer Dimitri Chamblas, with Virginie Viard in attendance. The film of the 2022/23 Métiers d’art show will be revealed on tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. GST.

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