Karl Lagerfeld Resurrects Coco Chanel’s Favorite Shoes

Karl Lagerfeld may be the grand master of the house of Chanel (for 35 years and running), but the 85-year-old German-born, Paris-based designer always makes sure to pay homage to the maison’s founder, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

Whether it’s through the tweed suits she was fond of or the many auspicious symbols of her daily life (from her favorite flower— the camellia flower — to her astrology sign, Leo), Lagerfeld has incorporated all of Coco’s favorite things into his collections for the brand over the years — footwear included.

chanel coco chanel mary janes sneakers cruise 2018
Sneaker soles on the Coco Chanel-inspired Mary Janes from Chanel’s cruise ’18 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Chanel

For Chanel’s new cruise ’19 collection, which showed in May at the Grand Palais in Paris, Lagerfeld looked to the founder’s life in the South of France for inspiration. Referencing photos of Coco on board the Flying Cloud, the yacht owned by the Duke of Westminster (Chanel’s lover in the 1920s), the designer created a series of tweed minidresses and nautical-inspired looks for the collection.

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Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel in 1926 wearing a pair of white leather Mary Janes.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Chanel

On foot, the models wore a series of vintage-inspired Mary Janes reminiscent of the white and two-tone pairs that Chanel wore during the decade and later into her life. Done in white or metallic silver, the footwear features softly-curved heels, rounded toe caps and covered-leather buttons running across the single and double straps.

coco chanel cruise 2018 mary jane shoes
Coco Chanel in Deauville, France in 1920 wearing two-tone Mary Janes, which inspired the brand’s cruise ’18 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Chanel

The shoes are near-replicas of the designer’s own versions, save for one style that Lagerfeld debuted, which has a rubber sole distinctly resembling a sneaker bottom.

coco chanel chanel cruise 2018 mary janes sneakers rubber soles
Mary Janes from Chanel’s cruise ’18 collection with sneaker-like rubber soles.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Chanel

There is also a sequined version, done in large white paillettes, with a small double C logo on the heel.

coco chanel chanel cruise 2018 mary janes sequins shoes
A sequined version of Coco’s classic Mary Janes in white.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Chanel
chanel coco chanel cruise 2018 mary janes
Chanel brought back Coco Chanel’s favorite shoe — the Mary Jane — for its cruise ’19 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Chanel
coco chanel chanel cruise 2018 mary janes
A Coco-inspired look from Chanel’s cruise ’18 collection, complete with vintage-shaped Mary Janes.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Chanel

Though this isn’t the first time that Chanel’s signature Mary Janes have been featured on the runway, Lagerfeld went in depth on the designer’s leisure life to create a very literal “cruise” collection (which is now available in stores). Inside the Grand Palais, models walked on and around a giant cruise ship, named “La Pausa,” after the villa that the Duke of Westminster built for Chanel in the South of France.

chanel cruise 2018 mary janes karl lagerfeld
The Mary Janes also made an appearance on the Chanel runway in 1989 at one of Lagerfeld’s early collections for the brand.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Chanel

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