Chanel tips hat to online retail
Chanel has launched online selling in Europe for hatmaker Maison Michel.
Venturing further into e-commerce, the Maison Michel online store is to offer the brand's complete catalogue with 120 headwear styles for women and men, along with ties, scarves, headbands and earmuffs.
The redesigned website features oval-framed photos taken by Chanel’s couturier Karl Lagerfeld of Girls star Jemima Kirke modelling the hat styles.
Acquired by Chanel in 1997 and integrated into its Paraffection subsidiary of speciality ateliers in 2006, Maison Michel is now under the artistic direction of Priscilla Royer and employs 35 people, having recently relocated to larger premises in suburban Paris to accommodate the expansion into e-commerce.
Known for their lace veils, classic berets and crystal-strewn hairbands, the hatmaker also manufactures headwear for Maison Margiela and Lemaire, and counts models Cara Delevingne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and reality star Khloe Kardashian amongst its fans.
President of Chanel Fashion Bruno Pavlovsky told WWD that hats are a huge trend with people keen to make fashion statements and also as a practical necessity as more people seek protection from the sun.
"This change was not that obvious," he said of the growing trend for headwear, adding, "Now it seems we have something that is quite solid."
Pavlovsky shared that the logistics and service protocols undertaken for the project are helping the company gain expertise ahead of the summer launch of online selling for Eres, the Chanel-owned lingerie and swimwear firm.
He said Chanel wanted an “e-commerce/e-service” for their multichannel approach to online selling and described it as an extension of what they are already doing in their boutiques.
Maison Michel expects to expand online selling to the U.S. next year (17).
Last year’s eyewear launch in the U.S. marked Chanel's first e-commerce venture for its fashion division, though they have been selling fragrances, make-up and skincare online for 10 years in America.