More than just a fashion house, Chanel also uses its eminence to bring forward current issues to be discussed for everyone’s benefit.
The French brand recently (on January 15th to be exact) launched a podcast series called CHANEL Connects, which feature notable names like singer Pharrell Williams, actresses Keira Knightley and Tilda Swinton, British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful, filmmaker Lulu Wang, and creative consultant and writer Amanda Harlech among others.
With a focus on present-day priorities and what’s going to happen next, especially since the world has changed tremendously due to the coronavirus pandemic, these celebrated talents from film, art, architecture, dance, music, and fashion share their views via the podcast series.
Their conversations span a range of topics from technology opening new avenues for creative work to advancing the role of culture as an agent for social change.
Self-recording their contributions from their homes and studios, together, they represent both emerging and established talent and include individuals from institutions where Chanel’s patronage helps to catalyse innovation across the arts.
“Quarantining and social distancing have changed who we are as a species forever. It’s changed how we see things and where we find value,” Pharrell Williams tells Es Devlin, as they consider the arts as a force for activism as well as escapism.
“I grew up on images of those forties fast-talking women. The shock was when I got into the film industry and then questioned, ‘Where are these powerful women?’”, Keira Knightley says in a conversation with Lulu Wang, reflecting on the power of film to reveal fresh perspectives on societal issues and the importance of better representing female voices both in front of and behind the camera.
“The industry’s changed, the media landscape has changed, heroes have changed,” Edward Enninful tells Tilda Swinton as they imagine a future where society celebrates the full diversity of people and human potential.
Yana Peel, Global Head of Arts and Culture at Chanel, notes that the series points to an existential moment for culture as artists reconsider how, why and where they tell stories and connectwith audiences.
“While galleries, stages and studios have been dark, artists have not stopped creating and imagining new ways forward. CHANEL Connects sees cultural game changers delve deep into their imaginations to share ideas across disciplines, projects and institutions. As well as fascinating insight into the minds of today’s most creative innovators, it’s a prescient reminder to continue supporting the arts, championing what’s next and celebrating work that has the power to transform lives and wider society.”