In the fashion and beauty worlds, industries powered by change, newness and trends, very few things reach the age of 100. It tracks, then, that Chanel would celebrate the centenary of its iconic N°5 perfume in a big way.
Following on from Celebrity By, a series of talks by the likes of Graydon Carter, Marion Cotillard and Marie Agnes Gillot, on the changing nature of celebrity and inspired by the century-worth of celebrities who have worn Chanel No 5, this month the house debuts Factory 5. This limited-edition collection of beauty products, each of which takes the scent as its core ingredient, is represented as a series of everyday items – including a paint can, a tea tin and a washing liquid container – as a reminder that ‘wearing N°5 transforms the ordinary’.
The simple monochrome packaging, which houses 17 products ranging from a body oil and hand soap to bath tablets and shower gel, is also a reference to the very first Chanel No 5 bottle – a simple laboratory bottle which, via its contents, was transformed from something functional to a luxurious product coveted by the masses.
“There can be as much value in products that we use regularly as in products that we use for very special occasions. It’s all about the experience these products give you,” explains Thomas du Pré de Saint Maur, Chanel’s Head of Global Creative Resources Fragrance and Beauty. “By taking popular consumer items out of their context and dressing them up in the aesthetics of N°5, we return to Chanel’s first creative gesture: that of transforming a functional object into a desirable luxury item.”
In line with this everyday, industrial ethos, the Factory 5 collection is presented with a production line-inspired campaign which will be brought to life at Selfridge’s Corner Shop from 5 July. Imagined as a ‘theme park’ dedicated to Chanel N°5, the 160 sq m space will be transformed into a monochrome factory, interspersed with vivid pops of colour, where visitors can follow the journey of the Factory 5 products through various workstations. The ‘factory store’ will also give shoppers the chance to purchase the Factory 5 collection and play host to unusual ‘product demonstrations’ designed to showcase the playful and constantly evolving nature of the fragrance.
Night owls should be sure to visit on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening, when the Chanel Factory 5 Night Shift comes into force. Signalling a shift to a more party-like atmosphere, guests will be given a Factory 5 ink stamp on entry and enjoy entertainment by live DJs. Welcome to London’s coolest after-work drinks.
The Chanel Factory 5 Corner Shop will be open from 5-31 July at Selfridges, visit chanel.com