Chanel acquires 60% of FashionArt, a company specialising in denim fabrics

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto08 décembre 2022

The world of denim is seducing major luxury brands. Chanel has just announced the acquisition of 60% of the shares of the Italian manufacturer FashionArt. The amount of the transaction was not specified.

FashionArt perfectly masters the specific characteristics of denim fabric, its technical possibilities and its creative potential (Chanel)

The objectives of this acquisition are clear: to enhance and perpetuate the know-how of FashionArt's craftsmen, but also to consolidate Chanel's supply chain.

The FashionArt studios located in the town of Limena in the province of Padua, in the Veneto region, currently employ around forty people. They have a perfect command of the specific characteristics of denim fabric, its technical possibilities and its creative potential. Thanks to this expertise, the factory offers high-end garment manufacturing and also works on fabrics for bags and shoes.

FasionArt's expertise in working with denim is highly valued (Alix Marnat)

A flagship of "made in Italy", the company supplies several big names in the luxury sector, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Burberry. But the collaboration with Chanel is not new. It began some fifteen years ago, in 2007, when Andrea Rambaldi, its founder, met Karl Lagerfeld. It was the star designer who encouraged him to specialise in the expertise of dyes and washes, while he was still working in the industrial washing machine sector. Karl Lagerfeld then entrusted him with his first test mission: to imagine a pair of denim trousers evoking the colours of the English morning fog for the 2007/08 Métiers d'art collection "Paris-Londres". FashionArt was born following this meeting. 

The collaboration has intensified recently, with the new collections featuring numerous models in denim, a material that has been ennobled since its return to favour on the catwalks of leading luxury brands. The trends for the coming summer suggest the long denim skirt as a key piece of the 2023 wardrobe.  Denim is the focus of designers' attention; Loro Piana has just financed research into a new material: cash-denim, a mixture of denim and cashmere. 

Chanel's acquisition of FashionArt is in line with a trend that has been going on for several years among the giants of luxury fashion: to have more control over the production chain by building loyalty among the manufacturers in their relationship with the brand and thus guaranteeing transparency in the traceability of materials.

Chanel has been working in this direction for a long time and its holdings in independent production factories have multiplied. Just think of the leather goods manufacturer Renato Corti, whose company, based in Milan, was acquired by Chanel for 40% in 2019. Renato Corti is one of Italy's largest manufacturers of leather goods, with factories in Tuscany and Lombardy.

In 2019 Chanel also invested in the Italian tannery Samanta, which specialises in printed leathers. A partnership had also been established with the luxury clothing company Grandis, in Normandy. Chanel is not the only major brand to proceed in this direction: LVMH has just acquired the Italian jeweller Pedemonte and Dior has invested in the Italian leather craft industry with the purchase of the Art Lab laboratories, near Florence. 

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