What does this selection as Designer of the Year mean for you as part of the major theme (at the Salon International de la Lingerie) “Fall in love with yourself”?
Renaud Cambuzat / It is truly an honor to receive this award, which recognizes a significant joint effort across all brands of the CL group (Chantelle Lingerie) since 2017. We are delighted with this, especially since the theme selected by the Salon this year reflects the values we represent, and which are at the very core of what our brand offers. The industry remains polarized between archetypes that have certainly evolved, yet which continue to exist, whether it’s sexy empowerment, opportunistic Body Positivism, or pretty chic that everyone can agree on. We wanted to defend a more authentic, bolder vision that is resolutely creative and able to reflect the complexity of our society and all the richness of the individuals that make it up, in a relevant manner.
Stepping out of the confines of standardized, bland beauty, representing and talking to new types of femininity, avoiding any form of strict, stereotyped gender definition, celebrating the energy and promise of our time through unbridled creativity, leaving each person to their free interpretation and opinions, such are the values at the heart of our creative as designers, which imbues us with a sense of responsibility.
With all the risk involved in taking on this new identity, what do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
R.C. / I think we are most proud of the integrity with which we have undertaken these profound changes. We are convinced of the relevance of these new directions for our brands, and have done all we can to make them, all together, a complete, unique, and long-lasting product offer. It is crucial for us that our approach should make sense, and we will make sure that this continues to be the case, in a world that’s evolving and transforming at an impressive pace.
What is your vision for Chantelle Lingerie ?
R.C. / CL is the group’s new identity. It’s not a product brand, but rather an overarching brand identity, under which our different product brands are united, linked together through the “designed by CL” signature. There is, therefore, no CL lingerie perse, but there is a vision, a certain level of expertise, and there are CL values that are expressed in a variety of manners through our brands. Altogether, they constitute a diverse, complementary product offer that crosses categories, over different price levels, allowing us to meet a wide range of varied needs. We have in common a certain love of design, simplicity, and creativity. Quality and innovation are also at the heart of our group vision and are particularly focused on comfort. This is how we developed Soft Stretch, our innovative one size underwear program: in IIS unequaled confort.
For you, is lingerie the best way to express “body celebration”?
R.C. / I believe that there are many ways to celebrate the body. Lingerie is one of them. For us, it’s not just about celebrating the body, but also the spirit, individuals, their personality, and their history.
Without this, the body is a mere nothing. This is also what lingerie has sometimes tended to forget. If you take the show’s theme, “Fall in love with yourself ”, it’s first and foremost a mental and emotional approach.
What trends are your group focusing on for this A/W 2019-2020 season?
R.C. / Modernity, contrasts, creativity, comfort, and a reinterpretation of seductive allure. This is the first season that we’ve really been able to work on our collection with this transversal approach as a portfolio of brands, which has allowed us to perfectly construct our collection for Chantelle, Passionata, Chantal Thomass, and Femilet. In terms of image, for the first time, we’ve worked with a common theme for the season (States of being) over all our brands, which is elaborated in a variety of interpretations according to each brand.
Does the heritage of expert craftsmanship remain a key concept for all your collections?
R.C. / It is clearly an essential element and a real strength of our group that we want to preserve. High standards, quality, and the expertise acquired over 140 years remain fundamental shared values for our brands. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t say that these are the leading concepts for all our collections, which, I believe, offer much more than that. Beyond expert craftsmanship and style, they reflect an era for which they are crafting the future, and bear a rich, complex vision that is open to the world.