Chanel enlists filmmaker Sofia Coppola to record the iconic bag’s development at the Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte

Text by: Josephine Giachero

From being a teenage intern at Chanel to becoming a bone-fide screenwriter, a front seat at the Métiers d’Art shows will always be granted to Sofia Coppola. Glamorous staples coming from the collections have made numerous appearances in her cinematic projects too, from The Bling Ring and On The Rocks to the 1989 short Life Without Zoe, which she co-wrote with her father, Francis Ford Coppola.

Still, her most recent work in collaboration with the legendary Maison is The Chanel Iconic: a promotional film directed by Coppola herself for the release of the French fashion house’s latest gem, the 11.12 handbag. The soon-to-be-dropped item is a reinterpretation of the 2.55 style, a Gabrielle Chanel-conceived classic that was first launched in 1955. The internationally-recognised accessory gained considerable fame in the early 1980s, when Karl Lagerfeld dusted it off and designed it to be adorned with a double C clasp and a metal chain interlaced with leather.

Inez and Vinoodh for CHANEL

The short film is shot in what has been regarded as the birthplace of Chanel’s handbags since 1990: the Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte. For the occasion, Coppola takes us through the historical house to document the BTS process of the iconic quilted bag, from start to finish. 

Each savoir-faire detail has been captured through the remarkable lenses of the visionary director: from selecting the leather and sewing the pockets to stitching the double C underneath the flap and, again, from the manual braiding of the metal chain to the placement of the eyelets on the double C clasp, considered the bag’s trademark.  

In a moment of turmoil, loss, and standstill, it is rather soothing to be granted the opportunity to jump a few centuries in time. Now, we are graced with the documented proof that craftsmanship can, and is enduring adversities. Coppola’s new project demonstrates that luxury hasn’t lost its lustre, after all.

You can watch the full video here.

Still from “The Chanel Iconic” by Sofia Coppola