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Chanel Addresses Dissent Over $825 Advent Calendar: It’s ‘A Bit Of A Shame’
By Mikelle Leow, 07 Dec 2021
Images via Chanel
Chanel’s first attempt at an advent calendar didn’t generate the festive cheer it was hoping for.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of its signature fragrance and bottle, the luxury house released an array of limited-edition items in the shape of the No. 5 bottle, including a calendar filled with “mysterious delights and surprises… marked with Gabrielle Chanel's lucky number.” Although the gift includes full-sized Chanel beauty products, customers weren’t expecting to find “goodies” like stickers and a dust bag in its 27 boxes, considering that it’s priced at US$825.
Image via Chanel
The kit caught the world’s attention, even being called a “fraud” by users on Chinese social network Weibo. On TikTok, a series of videos by user Elise Harmon amassed millions of views, driving internet users to warn shoppers that the gift was “not worth it” in Chanel’s social media posts.
Worth the hype? Probably not but it is pretty♬ It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas - Michael Bublé
Reply to @kellykillahbeebes♬ The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole Trio
Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s president of fashion, has since responded to the disdain. “This controversy is a bit of a shame because it was not what Chanel intended,” he tells WWD. He adds that Chanel was really expecting to receive positive reactions from customers.
“Evidently, we see that you have to be careful and therefore, in future, we will certainly be much more cautious,” the Chanel executive promises.
Chanel has also dismissed a claim by the TikToker saying that the brand has “blocked” her on TikTok. It clarifies that, since the company isn’t active on TikTok and hasn’t uploaded a single video, Harmon would “naturally” find that there is “no subscriber and no subscription” listed on the page, as would anyone else looking up the Chanel TikTok account.
“The page therefore appears empty to anyone who visits it,” Chanel notes, describing the allegations that it blocked the account as “absolutely inaccurate.”
Chanel says it is aware of the criticism flooding its online channels about the advent calendar. “Our pages are open to everyone, and millions of followers follow us all over the world. They are of course free to express their feelings and opinions, whether they are enthusiastic or critical, if they respect the rules of good conduct,” the brand points out. It only draws the line at “defamation, calls to violence, threats, or intimidation.”
However, the brand personally believes that the centennial advent calendar is “a true collector’s item whose value cannot be summed up by the products it contains alone.”
In further defense of the special-edition product, Pavlovsky elaborates that Chanel took the effort to use more sustainable materials for the project.
Nevertheless, Chanel will tread even more carefully next time.
“In any case, the objective is to promote our products and not to trigger any controversy, and even less to create frustrations or to send the wrong signals,” Pavlovsky concludes.
[via WWD and Jing Daily, images via Chanel]
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