The house of Chanel has just announced that it will be funding the renovation and restoration of one of Paris’ most iconic and historic buildings, the Grand Palais. Baroque Access finds out all the details
In mid-February, French fashion house Chanel announced a new, exclusive and historic sponsorship, a contribution of 25 million euros to restore the Grand Palais to its former glory. In so doing, this esteemed couturier is reinforcing its commitment to the city.
The iconic Grand Palais (full name is ‘Grand Palais des Champs Élysées’) has symbolized architectural innovation in Paris since it was originally created at the turn of the century (1900) for the Universal Exhibition that took place that year. The historic building is used today as an exhibition hall and museum complex, and as its name implies, it’s located on Paris’ famous Champs Élysées. It is one of the most beautiful historic monuments in Europe, and has had close ties with the house of Chanel for many years.
In fact, this iconic building has been the setting for the extraordinarily beautiful Chanel Ready-to-Wear and Haute Couture Shows created by Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s Artistic Director, since 2005.
As the exclusive and historic sponsor of the Grand Palais’ renovation project, Chanel is renewing its commitment to an initiative taken by Gabrielle Chanel, the founder of the fashion house, who believed in supporting the cultural and artistic stature of the city of Paris.
The Nave of the Grand Palais is home to monumental sculptures including the Chanel jacket and a lion, both elements that Gabrielle Chanel was passionate about. Other objects loved by Gabrielle Chanel, such as the Eiffel Tower, a Greek amphitheater, a shopping center, an airport terminal, Parisian brasserie, French garden and many more have been used by Karl Lagerfeld as daringly beautiful backdrops for his runway shows for Chanel in this iconic setting.
Each of these imaginative feats sprang from Lagerfeld’s inexhaustible imagination; he has become legendary for the lasting impressions he continues to create every season. The Grand Palais, especially the exceptional nave where the fashion shows are always held, is not only a source of inspiration for Chanel’s Artistic Director; it is also a piece of remarkable architecture.
According to the Fashion President of Chanel, Bruno Pavolvsky, “This Parisian institution has a universal vocation, and we are proud and delighted to accompany the Grand Palais and its President, Sylvie Hubac, in such an ambitious restoration and renovation project.”
This new commitment highlights Chanel’s intention to contribute to Paris becoming a leading cultural and artistic capital. The brand has other commitments to this aim, too – it is now the exclusive sponsor for the creation of permanent exhibition spaces in the Palais Galleria, the Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, which will open in 2019. In addition, Chanel plans to build a new complex to honor the savoir-faire of its Paris-based Métiers d’Art, to open at the Porte d’Aubervilliers in 2020.
The renovation of the Grand Palais is scheduled to begin in 2020 and continue to 2024, with a partial reopening happening in 2023.