Chanel makes history in Africa

The iconic fashion house is unveiling a collaborative docuseries in celebration of their historic show on the African continent

By Tayla Sassen
Ⓒ Chanel

The name Chanel is as synonymous with art as it is with fashion, and the art of this atelier will now be immortalised in a four-part documentary series about the Chanel 2022/23 Métiers d’art showcase.

The highly anticipated show made history, with Chanel being the first European luxury brand to stage a fashion show in sub-Saharan Africa.

Chanel’s creative director, Virginie Viard, enlisted the skills of celebrated filmmaker Ladj Ly, founder of the Kourtrajmé film school. Based in Montfermeil, Marseille, Madrid and Dakar, the institution, named after French slang for ‘short film’, (court métrage) provides free film industry training to aspiring filmmakers, and has been instrumental in educating young Senegalese directors and scriptwriters since opening its doors in the country earlier this year.

Ⓒ Chanel

As part of the collaboration with Chanel, students from the Kourtrajmé school helped in the production of the series which was filmed between the Chanel Creation studio in Paris, and Dakar where the historic show took place. It follows Viard’s encounter with the school’s students, preparations for the show and ultimately the show itself.

“The idea of this project is to build a bridge between the schools in Montfermeil and the one in Dakar. It’s a very real exchange,” said Ly of the venture. “Kourtrajmé’s motto has always been ‘total freedom’. We explained the project to the students, gave them a vision and then they suggested things with their own artistic identity, all while remaining faithful to the world of Chanel.”

The first episode in the docuseries takes a look at the final preparations for the 2022/23 Métiers d’art show, as well as dancers from L’École des Sables as they rehearse under the watchful eye of their choreographer, Dimitri Chamblas. The final instalment is a celebration of the groundbreaking show which was held at the former Palais de Justice.

The Chanel – Dakar 2022/23 Métiers d’art show film will be unveiled December 8 on chanel.com 2pm Paris time.

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