April 16, 2024

The CHANEL Iconic Handbag: A Campaign to Fall in Love Again

“Sorry, do you have any rooms available?” – A quote from the movie A Man and A Woman (1966), which explores the emotion of falling in love. It is a movie that describes romance, sensuality, desire. It is the movie that has been the inspiration for Chanel’s most recent bag campaign. A reference that is not far off, considering that in 1912 Coco Chanel opened one of her first boutiques in Deauville, which is not only the location in which “A man and A Woman” was shot, but as well the location of their most recent campaign, starring award winning actors Penélope Cruz, Brad Pitt and top model Rianne Van Rompaey. It is a campaign that, besides consisting of beautiful imagery, is conceptually highly thought through.

Shot from the CHANEL iconic handbag campaign by Inez & Vinoodh.

Sequence from “A Man and a Woman” by Claude Lelouch.

The hidden beginning of the campaign started with the show during Paris Fashion Week in February of this year. A large screen in the form of an elliptical cylinder was put in the middle of the show venue, playing the video featuring Cruz, Pitt and Van Rompaey accompanied by sequences showing the landscape of the famous Deauville beach promenade “Les Planches”. With the sun, white clouds, a sandy beach, and the sea in the background, it is a location where time stops for a little moment and eternity feels so close. The perfect place to fall in love, isn’t it?

Having brought the memory of this exceptional French village to Paris and presenting the latest fall/ winter collection in its magic, created the perfect transition between the video and the present. With Rianne Van Rompaey not only starring on the screen, but opening the show, wearing a large hat as a reference to Coco Chanel’s first hat store in Deauville, is another indicator of the campaign’s cohesion. Watching the show video it quickly appears that the bag is the focus accessory of the upcoming season’s collection. Presented in a variety of colours and materials with almost every outfit on the runway, as well as featured on the large screen the handbag gets the attention it deserves while proving its versatility.

Model Amelia Grey backstage at the Chanel F/W 24 show, wearing the handbag in burgundy red.

Model Liu Wen backstage at the Chanel F/W 24 show, wearing the handbag in mustard yellow.

Keeping the fashion show in mind and focusing now on the actual campaign video, that was officially released as such on March 27, the placement of the bag appears to make sense. It is placed in the center, during scenes where it witnesses two people falling in love. Between two actors that are not only known for their beauty and charm, but talent. Having starred in countless movies, reaching from films people used to watch as children up to action movies for adults, an audience around the world from different generations has created emotional connections with Cruz and Pitt. The two are, therefore, a wise choice to represent the bag in this campaign. The iconic Chanel handbag stands for a timeless classic. It is a bag that people will find joy in over generations. And the new generation is where Van Rompaey comes into play. The 28-year-old top model was ranked as an industry icon by models.com. This is where a correlation between her and the Chanel’s Iconic Handbag can be made. Having her in the campaign does not only further underline the cohesion of the campaign, but it is where the magic around the chosen actors and the uniqueness of the bag come together and create a whole picture.

Taking now a look back at the scenery, the referenced movie and the choice of actors for the campaign, the Chanel bag is being brought into relation with many references to emotions. It is a beautiful way to describe what the bag represents on a deeper level, besides being a beautiful must have. Short, it is a campaign that is conceptually highly thought through.

Penélope Cruz and Brad Pitt strolling at the beach promenade “Les Planches” in Deauville.

Enjoy the full campaign video by INEZ & VINOODH.

photographer INEZ AND VINOODH