Chanel's The Iconic Handbag Campaign Celebrates the Heydays of '60s New Wave Cinema

The campaign was heavily inspired by Claude Lelouch's 1966 film, A Man and A Woman.
Published: March 27, 2024
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

Shot in classic black-and-white, Chanel's latest campaign for its classic 11.12 handbag was a love letter to Claude Lelouch's 1966 masterpiece, A Man and A Woman. An iconic film of the French New Wave movement and winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival, this cult classic weaves a whirlwind romance of two widows falling in love, alongside the inevitable fears that come with it. Beyond its heartfelt narrative and enigmatic setting, the film holds a unique connection to the French Maison—notably, the quilted Chanel bag carried by leading actress Anouk Aimée.

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As the passionate love story between Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant unravels, her Chanel bag eventually morphs into an emblematic symbol of timelessness; having been with her throughout her entire journey. Fast forward to present-day, the 11.12 handbag has remained an enduring symbol of Chanel's savoir faire.

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Chanel's The Iconic Handbag Campaign Celebrates the Heydays of '60s New Wave Cinema
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

In this latest reiteration of the iconic film, Artistic Director Virginie Viard taps into an eclectic range of creative references, but most notably, Chanel's own history. Directed by Inez & Vinoodh, The Iconic Handbag is fronted by modern-day cinematic luminaries Penélope Cruz and Brad Pitt. Using most of the 1966 film's original sequences and script, several scenes in the campaign directly referenced the French Maison's history. Among the most distinctive was the indelible beach scene shot at Deauville—the Normandy seaside resort where founder Gabrielle Coco Chanel first opened her hat boutique in 1912.

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In this spirited remake, the 11.12 Handbag is portrayed as a versatile emblem. Across exotic destinations, intimate interactions and exciting escapades, the classic flap bag effortlessly becomes the trusty companion of a confident heroine. Instantly recognisable with its classic silhouette, the campaign encapsulates its timeless allure in pure cinematic genius.

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