Chanel: in the 2023 eyewear campaign Vivienne Rohner and HyunJi Shin talk with Nile Rodgers

Fashion

Chanel: in the 2023 eyewear campaign Vivienne Rohner and HyunJi Shin talk with Nile Rodgers

The iconic musician and sunglasses-doyen Nile Rodgers joins models Vivienne Rohner and HyunJi Shin in front of the camera in CHANEL’s new Eyewear campaign.
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Shot by Karim Sadli, the images evoke party nights and vibrant days, the heady spirit of disco, the heydays of the nightclub as artistic melting-pot, and the irrepressible chic of the 1970s – they are a celebration of all that is deliciously sensual and wonderful and fun.

 

Vivienne and HyunJi wear an array of new CHANEL styles, from timeless black sunglasses with quilted-effect arms or decorative chains, to retro aviators and extravagantly oversized frames in pearly cream and pink. Nile wears a custom CHANEL beret, of course. And his glasses come with a panel of black tweed on the arm, recalling the emblematic CHANEL suits that have defined the House from generation to generation, from runway to city to party to dancefloor. It’s the spirit of CHANEL and the spirit of decadence and connection. And with such lively encounters in mind, here Nile joins Vivienne and HyunJi for a quick-fire interview about all topics essential and unessential.

Nile Rodgers by Vivienne Rohner and HyunJi Shin

Vivienne Rohner: Nile, I’ve read that John Lee Hooker once told you to never get photographed without sunglasses, is that true, and have you always stuck to his advice?
Nile Rodgers: Yes, it’s true. I had a TV show on VH-1 and John Lee Hooker was a guest playing on it. After, he pulled me aside and said, “That’s the rule of cool, never get your photograph taken without sunglasses on!” I’ve worn them ever since.

HyunJi Shin: Do you wear your glasses in bed?
Nile Rodgers: Yes. I wear my sunglasses in bed because they’re prescription, but I take them off whilst sleeping.

Vivienne Rohner: We all know from your song that le freak is chic. Tell us some other unexpectedly chic things?
Nile Rodgers: My band, my friends, my goals, and most artists. All stylish people anywhere are chic to me. “Fashion becomes unfashionable. But style endures,” Coco Chanel once said!

HyunJi Shin: What are the first 3 songs that come to your mind when you are asked to talk about your own songs?
Nile Rodgers: “Good Times”, “I’m Coming Out,” and “Le Freak.” “Good Times” was the musical template for the 1st commercial hip hop song, “Rapper’s Delight.” “I’m Coming Out” was our way of paying tribute to the massive queer community who supported CHIC and Diana Ross. It was a positive double entendre as it is also the opening song of her live show and has been for more than forty years.

Vivienne Rohner: What’s the best party you’ve ever been to?
Nile Rodgers: President Obama’s last White House Party and The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Buckingham Palace.

HyunJi Shin: How many hours sleep do you get a night? And when you sleep, do you dream? If yes, what about?
Nile Rodgers: Typically, I sleep four hours a night. I dream about everything. I even dreamt a hit song. It was complete with lyrics, and full orchestration. It was called, “I Want Your Love” by my group CHIC.

Vivienne Rohner: What makes a great song?
Nile Rodgers: It captures the listener’s heart, mind or soul… and soles, as in the soles of their dancing feet.

HyunJi Shin: Who are the musicians that particularly inspire you today?
Nile Rodgers: Beyoncé, Lil Nas X, The-Dream and Thundercat, as well as the musicians who’ve captured my heart, mind, and soul my entire life – from Coltrane, Nina, Dolphy and Miles to Prokofiev, Mozart and Mancini.

Vivienne Rohner: How did you connect with the House of CHANEL and how does it feel to become the face of this campaign?
Nile Rodgers: I was playing a CHANEL party at La Vigie, Karl Lagerfeld’s residence in Monaco, and between soundcheck and the show I started playing “dress-up”. I’m only guessing that someone noticed how comfortably I could do my version of CHANEL style. Then I was asked to be the face of the next eyewear campaign. I had no words. I was honored, humbled and frankly shocked.

Vivienne Rohner: Nile, I’m a big fan of David Bowie and you of course worked together. Can you tell me about that?
Nile Rodgers: David caused a seismic shift in my life. It was fantastic. We walked together fearlessly over shaky artistic ground to the biggest album of his life and one of my most important works. And we did it in just 17 days. It was EPIC!

HyunJi Shin: It was so fun to listen to you perform at the CHANEL Cruise show in Miami, feet in the sand. How was this moment?
Nile Rodgers: I live in Miami, and I love working with everyone I work with at CHANEL. So… It was absolutely amazing. And I could walk to work.

HyunJi Shin: What does CHANEL mean to you?
Nile Rodgers: The highest and most prestigious luxury fashion house… but then we went to Dakar together in December [for the 2022/23 Métiers d’art show] and I saw another side of CHANEL. I saw a commitment to beauty, artistry and respect for all people’s ability to display their own style, comfort and beliefs through their garments and adornments.

Vivienne Rohner: How did you feel about being there in Dakar and being part of this experience?
Nile Rodgers: This was very emotional. Looking out my window at the Island of Gorée, The House of Slaves and The Door of No Return, where millions of slaves were sold to create the world we now live in was heart-breaking. But the trip was also uplifting because the locals that I met were loving and forward looking and thinking. I went to lunch and celebrated the future with them. I didn’t visit the island and lament the past.

HyunJi Shin: Congratulations on your Grammys win! Can you tell us about your upcoming projects? When will you release your next song?
Nile Rodgers: Thank you. Winning another three Grammys, including the Lifetime Achievement Grammy was historic. I have so many upcoming projects it’s not fair to name them because I couldn’t fit them all in here. As I write this I just had a song go #1 with Dutch Jazz artist Candy Dulfer and the Beyoncé song “CUFF IT” is a worldwide phenomenon.

 

 

Vivienne Rohner and HyunJi Shin by Nile Rodgers

Nile Rodgers: What time did you wake up this morning?
HyunJi Shin: 6:00 AM (jet lag).
Vivienne Rohner: I woke up at 06:10 AM – to be specific. I had to exercise my dog Skip for a very long time, before our long flight to Paris. But every day is different. It varies… most importantly, I need 10 hours of sleep a night.

Nile Rodgers: Where and when do you dance? At home, alone? Or always when out?
HyunJi Shin: With my besties.

Nile Rodgers: Who is the most stylish person in the world and why?
Vivienne Rohner: I like to roam around the Upper East Side of New York City. I have not seen chicer women AND men on all my travels around the world than Uptown. True old school chic.
HyunJi Shin: Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana was always chic and knew how to mix things in the correct way. I get lots of inspiration from her.

Nile Rodgers: What colour are your eyes?
HyunJi Shin: Dark brown.
Vivienne Rohner: I got my father’s eye color – green.

Nile Rodgers: Do you wear sunglasses to hide, see or be seen?
HyunJi Shin: To see and avoid the sun.

Nile Rodgers: What song makes you feel most alive?
Vivienne Rohner: David Bowie – Wild Is the Wind. It has been my favorite song since I was fourteen years old. And every time I listen to it, it makes me want to cry. And it makes me feel incredibly alive. I have had many loves in music. But David stuck with me when I was a teen and it never changed. How wonderful to feel such emotion and be so touched just by a melody. One sound, one verse, one sentence alone can make one dream or brings back memories.
HyunJi Shin: At the moment, every song from Tai Verdes.

Nile Rodgers: And what is your favourite party song?
HyunJi Shin: Le Freak – CHIC!

Nile Rodgers: Have you ever been refused entry to a club? If no, what’s your trick for charming the doorman?
HyunJi Shin: Honestly no, I seem to have a lot of friends who are friends with the doorman.
Vivienne Rohner: I prefer a chic bar over a club… I have been refused entry into bars many times in the US, since I moved to NY when I was nineteen years old and just would not believe that I could not be granted entry because of my age [the legal drinking age in the US is twenty-one]… and they are very strict.

Nile Rodgers: Do you have any specific memories of listening to CHIC?
HyunJi Shin: The most specific moment was when you were playing Dance, Dance, Dance on the guitar right in front of me and then handed me the guitar pick!!
Vivienne Rohner: CHIC invented Disco! Or what one thinks of immediately when you hear that word. Disco, Funk, Folk and Rock from the 50s to early 90s are my favorite genres. My idol since I was a young teen is David Bowie, and once I learned that you wrote many of David’s number one hits, as well as many number one and best-selling hits for an amazing number of musicians, I dived deeper into the world of CHIC.

Nile Rodgers: Do you remember when and where we first met? How does it feel to be reunited here in this campaign?
HyunJi Shin: I met you in Miami and it was an honor. Nile you are a legend.
Vivienne Rohner: We have crossed paths now in a couple of corners of the world. The first time was in Monaco at the Cruise show last year. We met again in Miami and I have listened to your song, “Le Freak”, at least one thousand times and it does not get old. It was the song to get us into the mood of the campaign. We traveled back in time to Andy Warhol‘s night outs with his polaroid camera. That must have been a fun time to be alive.

Nile Rodgers: What do you like to do when you are not modelling?
HyunJi Shin: I like to travel to new places, watch movies, do Pilates and play golf. I’m obsessed with skin care so always looking for new products, but my favourite thing to do is hang out with my mom and puppies.
Vivienne Rohner: Drive my brand-new car along the East Coast in Montauk, NY.

Nile Rodgers: What are your thoughts on wearing sunglasses inside?
Vivienne Rohner: Not everybody wants to reveal their mirrors to the world. I, myself wear tinted glasses a lot. They make me feel more at ease, and not everything has to be said and revealed at the first encounter.
HyunJi Shin: CHANEL is special. The atmosphere is always warm, everyone makes you feel very valuable – it is family.

Nile Rodgers: HyunJi, you opened the CHANEL Cruise show in Miami last November. How do you feel to be a face of the House? Do you have any memories of CHANEL growing up?
HyunJi Shin: I always feel honored and proud to be a CHANEL model. I want to be with CHANEL forever!! Karl Lagerfeld, who first gave me the opportunity to walk in a show, then took me for a campaign, which is where my journey started. Since then, Virginie has cared for me so much that she has become family. Thank you for always giving me the prettiest clothes and glasses to walk down the runway in!

 

 

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