Chanel, one of the grandest French fashion names, is to lay off 200 Paris staff in an unmistakable sign that even the world's top luxury brands are feeling the pinch in the global recession. A week ago Chanel, privately owned and secretive about its affairs, called off a glitzy art show as it was about to arrive in London from New York. Over the weekend trade unions reported that the fashion house was to lay off all of its 200 Paris staff who are on fixed-term or temporary contracts.
The company employs 16,000 people worldwide. “In the little world of luxury goods, the news has had the impact of a bombshell,” said Le Parisien newspaper. By coincidence, French television was showing the first part of an Italian-American mini-series on the life of Coco Chanel last night.