The Alphabet – Celebrating 60 Years of Chloé.

The Alphabet – Celebrating 60 Years of Chloé.

Posted 11 October 2012 by Donna Creek

Nirvana talk to creative agency  Guided about their recent project, The Alphabet – celebrating 60 years of Chloé.

1. What is the project?

Chloé, the ultra-feminine and luxury ‘ready-to-wear’ fashion house, wanted digital activity to run alongside their physical exhibition – Chloé. Attitudes at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris – celebrating their 60th anniversary and showcasing their remarkable heritage.

The objective was to extend the reach of the exhibition – but not simply be a digital version of it. It needed to take a similar  atmosphere and approach (i.e. non-linear, non-chronological); touch on and expand the key themes of the exhibition and be delivered in a truly global, engaging way that would effectively present both a familiar and unfamiliar side of the Chloé brand and story.

And so the digital platform: Chloé.Alphabet was born. 

‘The Alphabet’ was inspired by Gaby Aghion’s own creative process for naming her collections and garments. Finding numbers impersonal, she switched to letters, and the alphabet. In 1958, Collection ‘A’ was first, with every item in it given a name beginning with ‘A’. Then came ‘B’ and so on…

The Alphabet as a device allows Chloé to ambitiously share its rich heritage, themes and stories. Each letter was assigned a theme, individually telling a fragment of the story; collectively forming a mosaic of Chloé’s iconic moments, inspirations and heritage. These 26 themes are brought to life via film and documentaries, previously unseen archive imagery, past advertising, music, interactive and editorial, with the entire array to be made available at 

‘The Alphabet’ launched with 5 original short films and animations created by a stellar, all-female directing cast, including Poppy De Villeneuve, Julie Verhoeven, Kathryn Ferguson, Stèphanie Di Giusto and Mary Clerté who have each interpreted one of five principal letters / themes that happen to spell out the name C.H.L.O.È. These films explore themes of Counter-Couture, Horses, Light, O (roundness) and Embroidery. They will launch exclusively and simultaneously (27th September 2012) via five high profile fashion bloggers from the UK, USA, France, Japan and China.

Subsequent letters and themes are released every other day once the physical exhibition opens its doors on 28th September. They will be comprised of editorial combined with further documentary films, amazing unseen imagery, sketches and references from the Chloé archive, combined with interactive experiences, live social-media driven events and even specially commissioned music. 

Chosen bloggers will receive a one-off Chloé package containing items that bring to life their letter and theme, thereby allowing them to share the exclusive content intimately with their readers. 

2. Was there something unique or exciting about the brief?

Yes lots. We had Chloé’s entire digital archive at our disposal – whilst it was incomplete, it did contain some amazing footage of runway shows, never seen before drawings and design reference, lots of past advertising, look books, show invitations, shoots, etc.

It was simply – although a very complex job – about marrying what content we had to the themes and stories we were trying to tell – and join them in imaginative ways.

The global prospect of the project was also really exciting, reaching Chloé Customers & Chloé fans worldwide, as well as journalists & bloggers. 

The fact that Chloé is a luxury brand means production spec and finish had to be very high which always makes for a nice project with lots of craft and attention to detail.

3. How did you approach it?

It was a massive task to decipher and sift through the archive, but as a team we worked hard to research and plan the content, always using the exhibition curator, the archive managers and the client themselves to guide and assist.

Due to the nature of the creative mechanic – 26 letters – this meant 26 individual executions and pieces of content with each one bespoke. Thankfully, production in both a print and digital sense was staggered!

In relation to the previous point, the fact global bloggers released content every other day allowed us to use military-style planning to create content, produce and release it… doing all 26 at once would have killed us!

4. Was there anyone or anything that influenced the final solution?

In terms of packaging for bloggers – we wanted something very high end but equally tough and durable as each package had to ship miles around the world. We wanted something both lush and luxurious, but simple and un-fussy; something with a beautiful feel but equally with a practical edge. Also, the box needed to be subtle and elegant rather than luxury in a ‘showy’ way.

5. Tell me something about the materials and processes used?

We wanted to create a box that is very strong – but simple, stylish and also very tactile with a number of different materials playing off one another – from textured paper to smooth gloss. It also needed to tie in to the look and feel of the digital platform. 


6. And, how has it been received? Any exciting results, feedback, quotes or interesting anecdotes?

The overall project has gone down well. The boxes produced by Nirvana equally so – to the point that the client has ordered many more as mementos!

Lots of the bloggers photographed the box and contents and posted images of them on their blogs. 


Susie Bubble

The Glitter Guide

Blonde Salad

Disney Roller Girl

Garotas Estupidas

Meijia’s Blog Bus

French Vogue



Harper’s Bazaar

Fashion and Mash

Creative Review–the-alphabet


Thank you to the guys at Guided for talking to us! Got any comments about what the guys had to say? Air them in the comments section, below!