At the beginning of quarantine, everyone hopped on Instagram Live, including the fashion industry. Designers sought out new ways to connect with their customers digitally in every form imaginable. They streamed concerts performed by brand ambassadors. Digital workshops were held on Zoom, teaching us how to illustrate like an artist. Your favorite creative directors shared Spotify playlists. Luxury footwear brands created virtual coloring books of their iconic shoes.
The content we consumed in the early stages of the pandemic eventually waned, and it became clear that the oversaturation of fashion’s digital programming needed to slow down. Now that we’ve recovered, we’re ready for more. Today, after almost a year in lockdown, Chanel is launching a podcast.
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The French fashion label is debuting “Chanel Connects,” which brings together creatives for intimate conversations on subjects relevant to everyone, whether you own a Flap bag or not. The brand tapped celebrities we’ve spotted at their runway shows, along with architects, painters, and dancers. Participants range from front row darlings like Tilda Swinton, Keira Knightley, and Pharrell Williams to renowned artists Arthur Jafa and Jennifer Packer.
“While galleries, stages and studios have been dark, artists have not stopped creating and imagining new ways forward,” said Yana Peel, Global Head of Arts and Culture at Chanel. She points out that the series seeks to address the collective existential crises artists are experiencing, while serving as a reminder to continue “supporting the arts, championing what’s next and celebrating work that has the power to transform lives and wider society.”
The podcast pairs creatives to not only reflect on the struggles of 2020, but the unique challenges that lie ahead in 2021. Hard topics are examined, including recalibrating your imagination during a pandemic, accelerating equality for disenfranchised groups, Black Lives Matter and Black representation, art as activism and escapism, and even living on Mars.
“Our phones have made us incredibly dependent on the word ‘yes’. And because of that, we’ve become opportunistic,” Pharrell Williams tells Es Devlin in episode three. “We search for the sweetness of what we want to hear. You don’t have to change. So, if you don’t have to change, you don’t necessarily have to elevate for what’s right. And I think now for the first time, mankind has seen its reflection in the water of the internet.” “Chanel Connects” aims to make you stop and listen, so maybe that reflection is a little clearer.
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