Project Management Institute

Snow Show

A Cavernous Space Turns into an Alpine Town for a Chanel Fashion Show

img

TOP PHOTO: DPA PICTURE ALLIANCE / ALAMY STOCK. BOTTOM, COURTESY CHANEL

“Oh, it's like walking through a painting.”

–The late Karl Lagerfeld, on his vision for Chanel, in an audio recording played as part of Chanel's A/W 2019 show

img
img

Chanel fashion shows regularly grab international headlines. But what some might not realize is that the attention is just as much thanks to the brand's ambitious events project management as it is the clothing design. For recent events at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, project teams have been tasked with building a 30-foot (9-meter) waterfall that cascaded past caves and over rocky cliffs; designing and launching a life-size rocket ship; and re-creating an indoor version of the Eiffel Tower.

As with any event, project deadlines were inflexible—and required meticulous upfront schedule management. To execute one project, the team trucked in a 265-ton, 30-foot (9-meter) iceberg from a neighboring country, timing the transportation to minimize both melt and storage costs in advance of the show.

For the brand's most recent show in March, the need for upfront planning took on an emotional dimension. Project sponsor Karl Lagerfeld, who joined the French fashion house in 1983 as art director, died in February. Yet advance communication meant his vision was consistent throughout. The team reimagined the cavernous space as an Alpine town complete with a thick dusting of snow, chalets puffing smoke from their chimneys and full-scale pine trees. And on each guest's chair sat a printed sketch Mr. Lagerfeld had made years before. The picture was his own silhouette alongside that of Coco Chanel's, with the scrawled words that captured his own approach to fashion and the brand's future: “The beat goes on.”

PROJECT

Chanel's A/W 2019 fashion show

LOCATION

Grand Palais, Paris, France

FACE-LIFT

In 2018, Chanel contributed nearly US$28 million toward the French government's planned US$613 million renovation of the Grand Palais. The project is slated to begin in late 2020, with completion slated in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Content

  • Project Management Journal

    Managing Software Development Projects for Success member content locked

    By Butler, Charles W. | Vijayasarathy, Leo R. | Roberts, Nicholas In general, project complexity and project dynamism are recognized as potent characteristics that influence, usually in a negative way, the outcome of software development projects. However, with…

  • PM Network

    Edge of Infinity

    Clean, limitless energy is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Nuclear fusion is very real, with the potential to generate an inexhaustible supply of zero-carbon energy, without the intense…

  • PMI Thought Leadership

    PMI 2020 Signposts Report

    By Project Management Institute Project leaders can’t truly deliver value if they’re operating in a vacuum. In the PMI 2020 Signposts Report, we assess six of the most pressing business trends around the globe—climate change, AI,…

  • PM Network

    Auto Pilot

    By Hermans, Amanda Commercial drones are flying closer to a mainstream future. In October, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) named United Parcel Service (UPS) the first official drone airline. The…

  • PM Network

    Healthcare

    By Bishel, Ashley | Hermans, Amanda Healthcare leaders have to stay ahead of a lot of pain points: rising costs, new models of care and data security concerns—to name a few. And as the industry continues to inch toward digitization,…

Advertisement