Chanel J12

Client: Chanel
Creative Concept: Random Studio

Services: Lighting Design
Overview: Brand Experience/Sales Podiums/Store Takeover Events
Completed: 2019

NSLD partnered with Lighting & Show Design to interpret and evolve creative concepts by Random Studio for the global re-launch of the Chanel J12 watch on the 20th anniversary of this iconic timepiece.

Working in partnership with Lighting & Show Design (LSD) and with a creative team working from multiple locations, NSLD produced guidelines for lighting of Chanel sales stands or “podiums” in various sizes for the global roll out of the new J12 watch. After building a successful relationship with the client during the design of the stands, NSLD & LSD were quickly invited to present designs for a VIP launch event in the Chanel flagship Paris boutique in Place Vendôme.

The creative concept imagined temporal changes to light in the sky. Inspiration was drawn from interviews with celebrities discussing memory and time. Encounters, decisive moments, immersion, reflection, and water emerged as themes. The sky concept progressed from a video wall to a large “Skywall”, or artificial sky like a cyclorama, which became the key light source and main scenic effect.

The Skywall is augmented by raised tables of water that create beautiful reflections. Watches are displayed within the water on specially designed plinths with integral lighting. The plinths carry discrete actuators that tap the water, producing ripples that seem to emanate from the watches. Lighting and water droplets synchronize with screens showing celebrities musing on time and memory. The Skywall shifts to represent moments of day or night, punctuated by droplets of water that signal each time change.

Detailing was critically important given the context of a high-end product and the legendary Chanel style icon image. Ambient light sources were low glare and hidden within the podium structures. Tiny spotlights were deployed to accent the watches. Light sources were diffuse or hidden from view.

The launch event at the Place Vendôme presented an opportunity to evolve the Skywall into a fully immersive and transformative environment. NSLD/LSD story-boarded the visitor journey to show how the Skywall could be taken from the inside of the building out on to the exterior facade, allowing the visitor experience to begin outside the building. This gave the event a 24-hour public presence, drawing curious people inside.

Within the store the existing wall display cabinets were fitted with back panels which matched the colour changes and gradients of the Skywall features, as if the building were porous with a view through to the outside sky. The bottom and side edges of the water pools were enhanced with fringes of light which colour mapped with the Skywall, so the entire interior behaved as one lighting environment.

The takeover installation was designed with meticulous detail so that the event could be installed and removed with minimum interruption to the store opening hours. The event creative guidelines were adopted by Chanel for global use. The takeover event and podiums have now been successfully reproduced in locations as diverse as Paris, Milan, Beijing, Taiwan, and Seoul.

Next Project
The Story of JCB India Customer Experience