The message of Chanel's latest ad campaign? Apparently, even great feats of athleticism can be accomplished while wearing a Gabrielle handbag.
The French fashion house's new bag is a hands-free crossbody, which, if you're Pharrell, means it won't get in the way when performing casual acrobatics inside an empty soundstage strewn with trunks and shaky truss systems. The singer is featured jumping up and down from various pieces of equipment - all while wearing jeans, sneakers and the leather bag - and crossing the trusses like a gymnast on a high wire. At one point, he conjures a small boy who shows him the name "Gabrielle" written on his palm.
The longtime Chanel ambassador is the first male to star in a campaign for a handbag, touting Gabrielle's unisex appeal, and the star's gender-bending fashions have solidified his place in history as a founding member of Hollywood's new menswear order, which isn't afraid to try flamboyant or feminine styles on for size.
Karl Lagerfeld's other Chanel muses, Cara Delevingne, Kristen Stewart and Caroline de Maigret, also star in videos for the four-part video campaign. Like Pharrell's video, Stewart and Delevingne's ads also have a focus on athletics, with the former completing an intense dance sequence while rocking greasy, unkempt hair, while the latter's animated self is seen chasing after the bag on skateboard and on foot. De Maigret, whose tomboyish, effortless look is the epitome of the kind of "French girl style" that is often emulated, has a more relaxed, unfussy video which sees the model traipsing through her apartment.
Seen all together, the videos seem to relay a unified message of individuality told through the lenses of four people who are challenging the idea of their gendered roles.