Inside Chanel’s star-studded show in Miami

Digital Marketing Aganecy

Written by Nick Remsen, CNNMiami, Florida

Celebrities alighted in Miami Beach on Friday evening as French fashion house Chanel hosted a stateside iteration of its Cruise 2022-2023 show.

Originally presented in Monaco back in May, the runway — this time with set featuring kitschy red-and-white parasols and a faux boardwalk — drew a star-studded crowd that included Chanel ambassadors Lily-Rose Depp, Pharrell Williams and Marion Cotillard.

Pharrell Williams attends the Chanel Cruise show.

Pharrell Williams attends the Chanel Cruise show. Credit: Alexander Tamargo/WireImage/WireImage

The event also attracted well-known Floridians. In one “cabana” sat Alan Faena, whose namesake hotel hosted the catwalk, and in another, Miami-based hospitality entrepreneur David Grutman with his wife Isabela. Mera Rubell, the renowned art collector, was in attendance, as was tennis player Reilly Opelka, sharply dressed with a Chanel-brooch adorned blazer. Some 40 seating areas replete with champagne lined the catwalk, which was back-dropped by a deep blue Atlantic Ocean and feathery orange clouds.

All of this, though, for a resort collection that already premiered in Monte Carlo six months ago. Some might wonder: Why?

Models parade down the runway for the show's finale.

Models parade down the runway for the show’s finale. Credit: Chanel

“We have seen a lot of ups and downs in the state of Florida over the years, and now, we are back in an ‘up’ moment,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel’s fashion activities and director of the Fédération de la Haute Couture, which oversees Paris Fashion Week, prior to the show.

He was referring to the Magic City’s cultural importance, where reputable art museums and the American edition of the world’s largest art fair, Art Basel Miami, have called home. Chanel also opened a 7,600 square-meter boutique last December in the city’s design district.

Lily-Rose Depp attends the Chanel Cruise show.

Lily-Rose Depp attends the Chanel Cruise show. Credit: Alexander Tamargo/WireImage/WireImage

“Plus, we observed a lot of commonality between Monaco and Miami,” he added, pointing to “the colors of the sea” and Formula 1. (Miami hosted its inaugural Formula 1 race in 2022 while Monaco has long held one of the circuit’s ritziest Grand Prix events).

“But, Miami has more energy.”

The collection, which counted motor racing among its inspirations, looked right at home in Miami. A number of jumpsuits — recalling a car mechanic’s overalls — were rendered in sequins and Chanel’s famous tweed while a checkered flag-motif appeared on a sportive selection of garments including baseball caps and a swimsuit. Elsewhere, several inky sequined dresses were accessorized by (very Miami-esque) pink and teal belts. There was even a tennis bag.

Flowy dresses and loose cardigans were among the resort collection's assortment of looks.

Flowy dresses and loose cardigans were among the resort collection’s assortment of looks. Credit: Chanel

Chanel’s Miami summit indicates that the appetite for “destination shows” — runways held outside a label’s home city, the practice of which was largely halted by the pandemic — is far from satiated, and that “fashion-tainment” is on the rise. “Fashion-tainment” is a burgeoning phrase that has to do with brands putting more and more emphasis on consumer and market engagement through blending the sartorial with highly shareable, engaging moments. Cue an Insta-ready stage, bring in the A-listers and press play.

Case in point: Chanel doesn’t really need to show the same collection twice, but if you mix in the allure of a warm-weather city, a bright star quotient, and an afterparty with a performance by Williams and Nile Rogers, the reach of the product — and by extent, the lifestyle — becomes that much more amplified.

The set design added to the show's getaway feel.

The set design added to the show’s getaway feel. Credit: Chanel

Chanel’s executives are also following precedent: In 2008, the late Karl Lagerfeld — who served as the house’s creative director until his passing in 2019 — held a memorable destination show in Miami Beach at the historic Raleigh Hotel (which will soon reopen as a Rosewood property). Lagerfeld pioneered the concept of exotic cruise-themed shows and under his guidance, Chanel has produced runways in Singapore, Scotland, even Havana, Cuba.

Marion Cotillard attends the Chanel Cruise show.

Marion Cotillard attends the Chanel Cruise show. Credit: Alexander Tamargo/WireImage/WireImage

The format has become commonplace among top-earning luxury brands, and Miami itself has hosted major runways of late, too: Dior Men in 2019 and Louis Vuitton menswear, just days after designer Virgil Abloh’s death, in 2021. There are financial motivators, too — Miami’s market has grown significantly due to its growing population and an influx of businesses over the past few years.

“It’s about storytelling,” said Pavlovsky. “We have six collections per year, and we need to find the best ways to really connect with our customers six times a year. That’s the reason we are here.”

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