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Chanel launches a new cultural podcast series

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Jan 18, 2021

French fashion house Chanel has launched a new podcast series, Chanel Connects featuring talent from film, art, architecture, dance, music, and fashion for intimate conversations on the future of culture.

Chanel said in a statement that the podcast series was to pair innovators on the unique challenges of 2020 and imagine the new cultural frontiers of 2021, as galleries, museums, and stages prepare to reopen to what Chanel describes as a “radically transformed world”.

Yana Peel, global head of arts and culture at Chanel, said the series points to an existential moment for culture as artists reconsider how, why and where they tell stories and connect with audiences: “While galleries, stages and studios have been dark, artists have not stopped creating and imagining new ways forward. Chanel Connects sees cultural game-changers delve deep into their imaginations to share ideas across disciplines, projects and institutions.

“As well as fascinating insight into the minds of today’s most creative innovators, it’s a prescient reminder to continue supporting the arts, championing what’s next and celebrating work that has the power to transform lives and wider society.”

The series, available on Spotify, Apple, and Chanel’s website features conversations spanning a range of topics from technology opening new avenues for creative work to advancing the role of culture as an agent for social change.

Chanel enlists Tilda Swinton, Keira Knightley and Edward Enninful for a new podcast

Podcast participants include actors Tilda Swinton and Keira Knightley, musician, designer and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams, filmmakers Lulu Wang, Garrett Bradley and Eliza Hittman, artists Arthur Jafa and Jennifer Packer, designer Es Devlin, dancers / artistic directors Akram Khan and Tamara Rojo, editorial director Edward Enninful, creative consultant and writer Amanda Harlech and curator Andrew Bolton.

Each of the participants self-recorded their contributions from their homes and studios, and all were chosen to represent “both emerging and established talent and include individuals from institutions where Chanel’s patronage helps to catalyse innovation across the arts,” explained the fashion brand.

There are seven podcasts available, kicking off with ‘Who’s in the Picture’ featuring Tilda Swinton, Edward Enninful and Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery. They talk about evolving the culture of celebrity, making work that stands for something, and acting as a form of portraiture.

Other conversations include ‘The New Heroines’ discussing the needs for strong women on both sides of the camera, ‘Imagining New Worlds’ talking about how technology is changing us, as well as the need to elevate Black entrepreneurs, and ‘Fashion’s Untold Stories’ discussing talk about the world of fashion, unearthing forgotten stories and perspectives from fashion history.

There are also podcasts on pushing the boundaries of dance, how to use drama and documentary to tell political stories, as well as discussing what makes a piece of art successful.

Chanel Connects is the second podcast launched by the luxury brand. In 2017, Chanel introduced 3.55, a behind-the-scenes podcast offering that delves into the world of Chanel looking at its iconic handbags, the production of its fashion shows and styling celebrities on the red carpet.

Image: courtesy of Chanel