It all started with us sending a Whatsapp message to Female Collective member Aarika Lee earlier in the year that went along the lines of this: “Paris. Two days. Chanel Metiers d’Art workshops. Game?”
The French label had offered Female the rare chance to tour some of the ateliers that are behind its couture and Metiers d’Art collections, located in an unassuming complex on the outskirts of the French capital. Such visits are steeped in as much mystery as romance. Celebrities like Pharrell do them. They’re meant to reveal an often unseen yet crucial part of the luxury fashion business: The term “metiers d’art” refers loosely to studios specialising in specific hand-applied crafts; since 1985, Chanel has been acquiring them under a subsidiary arm to keep their traditional skills alive (the annual Metiers d’Art collection was introduced in 2002 to celebrate them). And we could bring a friend.
Lee – singer, director at the hip branding agency Elementary & Co., and all-round modern mum-of-two – was exactly who we needed for company. For all her clout, she views everything creative with bright eyes and has the preternatural ability to put an utterly real, down-to-earth perspective on all experiences. To quote her off-camera after the trip: “(Visiting the ateliers) really humanises a brand like Chanel.”
To find out what she’s talking about, enjoy our little home video above.
Editor Noelle Loh Videography Justin Chen Hair & Makeup Manisa Tan All Clothes & Accessories Chanel and Lee’s own