After a successful Resort 2015 show in Dubai and being ranked the most searched brand in China, Chanel is making a further move within emerging markets by acquiring the Chennai-based embroidery atelier Vastrakala, via a 70% stake in Jean-François Lesage SAS, which owns the Indian company. Founded in 1999, Vastrakala is an artisanal company that employs 174 embroiderers throughout India.
“This acquisition will enable Lesage and Vastrakala to successfully continue their long-standing cooperation based on a common passion: the art of hand embroidery,” Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s Fashion President told WWD. In addition, Jean-François Lesage SAS announced that the company’s name will be changed into Lesage Intérieurs, given its predominant activity in homeware and interior design.
Jean-François Lesage SAS, a French embroidery company which belongs to the son of François Lesage—the former owner of Maison Lesage, which was bought by Chanel in 2002—owns the India-based embroidery atelier Vastrakala, which will now provide its services to Chanel, following the Maison’s majority acquisition of Lesage SAS.
Both the 1924-founded Maison Lesage and Jean-François Lesage SAS are reputed for their high-quality embroidery and have worked with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Vionnet, Christian Dior, and Christian Lacroix, aside from Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld.
Chanel has already expressed its commitment to artisanal work and expert craftsmanship in the past by investing into artisanal, mostly family-owned companies, in order to help preserve the craftsmanship in Europe and beyond. In fact, the Maison already owns several accessory artisans, including French Maison Michel for hats and headpieces; French glove manufacturer House of Causse; French gold and silver jeweler Goossens; and Scottish knitwear supplier Barrie. Chanel also invested in French material suppliers such as feather artisan Lemarié; button supplier Desrues; flower artisan Guillet; and traditional folds and pleats artisan Lognon.