Pret-a-Reporter

Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld Debuts Gender-Fluid Handbag in Campaign With Kristen Stewart, Pharrell Williams

Courtesy of Chanel
Kristen Stewart, who debuted an androgynous buzz cut March 7, describes the unisex style as "effortless, strong and cool." Adds the 'Personal Shopper' star, "Karl is a visionary."

Cara Delevingne and French model Caroline de Maigret also star in the ads for the Gabrielle handbag, named after the house's founder, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel: "Each gives their own attitude to the bag," Lagerfeld says of the four stars.

When it comes to accessorizing, Karl Lagerfeld is embracing gender equality. For spring 2017, the 83-year-old Chanel creative director is rolling out the Gabrielle handbag — named after the house's founder, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel — a unisex style inspired by increasing fluidity between masculine and feminine roles. The brand hopes it will become as instantly iconic as the classic quilted flap bag that debuted in 1955. For the campaign, Lagerfeld photographed four Chanel faces — Kristen Stewart, 26; Pharrell Williams, 43; Cara Delevingne, 24; and French model Caroline de Maigret, 42 — all wearing the brand's same little black jacket. "They are very different personalities, and each gives their own attitude to the Gabrielle bag," Lagerfeld tells THR.

The bag's shape was inspired by virtual reality goggles, so Lagerfeld focused on "people who are very connected, too — people totally of today." The evidence is in the social media: Delevingne has 38 million followers on Instagram and Williams has 8.9 million (Stewart draws digital attention like few others, but eschews her own footprint). Lightweight and designed to be worn over the shoulder, across the body, or both at the same time, and available in black, tweed and color-blocked ($3,000 to $6,400), the Gabrielle signifies, like all of Mademoiselle Chanel's creations, both comfort and freedom.

This story first appeared in the March 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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