No one is safe in this economy, not even Chanel. The house of quilted-handbag fame plans to cut 200 jobs — 10 percent of its production team — effective Wednesday, as the luxury sector brazens the credit crisis. The house will cut sixteen jobs from the Chanel boutique on rue Cambon in the heart of Paris’ fashion district. Others affected include staff on fixed-term and temporary contracts. The Guardian reports that some are calling the layoffs Chanel’s “worst crisis” since Coco herself let the entire staff go at the start of the war in 1939.
The announcement is no great surprise considering Chanel recently called off its too-fabulous-for-the-times Mobile Art Exhibit. Chanel says it’s just not selling enough stuff these days and confessed it didn’t make sense to pursue ventures “where we weren’t selling anything.” (Yes, it was chock-full of sense before the market tanked.) Chanel’s in a pretty full boat, it seems. Louis Vuitton has delayed the opening of a giant store. Bulgari is too nervous to give a financial projection for 2009. And Prada “shocked” Milan over Christmas when they put up sale posters in their store windows. Didn’t they hear they can put things on sale and not tell anyone about it until they walk into the store? We know times are tough, but that is just kind of, well, embarrassing. You know those Europeans are so judging them.