Designed by award-winning architect Rudy Ricciotti, the designer of the MuCEM in Marseille, the Jean-Boutin Stadium in Paris, and the Islamic Arts Exhibition in the Louvre Museum, the Manufacture de la Mode reintroduces Chanel's intricate craftsmanship in an architectural and urban context. Architectural photographer Simon Garcia uncovers the newly-inaugurated fashion community in a series of photographs.
The factory sits in Porte d'Aubervilliers in northern Paris, an area that was once occupied by an industrial and skilled workforce in the 1970s, but is now revitalized by the project. It is commonly known as 19M; 19 is for the arrondissement it sits in and for the date of Gabrielle Chanel's birthday, and M stands for the words mains, mode, et métier (translated from French to hands, fashion and craftsmanship).
Clad in a fiber-reinforced concrete skeleton, the project spans across 25,500 m² with five levels and two basements, along with an agora of 13,000 sq ft (1,200 m²) open to the public. 600 employees and eleven crafts are brought together in the 19M to preserve and develop the know-how of the Métiers d’art. Some of these crafts include the houses of embroidery, the Montex atelier and MTX, the decoration department, Lemarié (flowers and feathers), Massaro (shoemaking), Maison Michel (millinery), Lognon (pleating), and Goossens (goldsmith). 19M will also house valuable archives such as 70,000 samples of Lesage, the largest collection of embroidery in the world.