Interview: CHANEL JOAN ELKAYAM

We caught up with the designer right after her AW19 show – which was opened by transgender model Munroe Bergdorf and Kate Grant in spectacular fashion. Here are Chanel’s thoughts…

What are the inspirations behind the new collection?

The vibe or inspiration for my AW19 collection was about an independent woman with a sovereign mind who believes in the empowerment of women. She is a feminine, seductive leader who is at the same time opulent and chic. She is fearless and unstoppable. She is also powerful and comfortable in her own body. I implemented this message within the aesthetic of my designs and with the launch of my campaign “I DON’T FOLLOW I LEAD”. In that, everyone should lead their lives on their own terms unconstrained [by] others’ expectations.

Did you face any big challenges in putting the show together?

No! Everything ran so smoothly. I have such an amazing team who have worked with me for a few seasons now. Head of Backstage was Leighanne Mroczka, Head of Hair was Andrew Manion, Head of Makeup was Charlotte Marie Cardwell and Head of Nails was Sue Dray. The hair, makeup, nails and backstage team together were about 40 people in total who have already worked with me many times and are brilliant. They all work together so smoothly.

You’re the youngest designer ever to show at all the big four fashion weeks. How did you achieve such a remarkable feat?

After showcasing my first collection, I was invited to Paris Fashion Week to showcase the following collection. Then after Paris I was invited to showcase at New York Fashion Week. 

In both Milan and London Fashion Weeks, I had my own independent, on-schedule designer show. This is how I completed the big four fashion weeks.

How would you describe your brand for someone unfamiliar with it?

My brand is luxury womenswear and accessories. The designs include expressive cuts with attention to details, and handmade embellishments. I make all the garments myself from start to finish including the handmade embellishments. The woman who wears Chanel Joan Elkayam is an independent woman who believes in the empowerment of women. She is a boss. Feminine, seductive and elegant. Fearless and unstoppable. Powerful and comfortable in her own body.

What are your ambitions as a designer?

To continue to succeed in the fashion industry and make my mark in the world through my designs.

Follow Chanel and find her latest collection at chaneljoanelkayam.com

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