The Former CEO Of Chanel Talks Feminine Leadership Qualities and Wolford Bras

Definitely not the ideal customer. 

The former CEO of Chanel, Maureen Chiquet, wants people to know that she has embraced her feminine leadership qualities, but don’t be too quick to take advice from this boss who wears Wolford. 

How Chanel of you! 

On a raining Tuesday night, IVY, the social university, hosted a very French cafe chat with the dewy-skinned American turned Parisian on how to lead a luxury brand to be worth $6.2 billion. “I sat at the head of the table with 10 other men who were primarily all French” the former CEO bragged.  💪🏿✨🐚 

Amongst a crowd of hopeful fashion entrepreneurs, the playful, witty, and creative CEO repeated multiple times ” I don’t give out advice, so don’t ask.”  But she will sell you on her new book “Beyond the Label” which is about her time and journey leading up to the greatest role in any fashionista’s dream: being the boss of Chanel.

Here’s what she has to say about embracing your “feminine leadership qualities,” but don’t be too quick to do so because it smells very white girl privileged to us. 

Either way, with all this girl power movement going on, her leadership advice is definitely a different prospective.

Former CEO On Leadership:

I didn’t go in thinking I was going to command control of the groups, set strategy… Because that wasn’t going to fly in a room full of seasoned corporate men. You think you would go in with this “I am a vision,” type of mindset. But I had to use my feminine leadership qualities.”   I had to be vulnerable… These are the things that helped me establish my credibility.

According to the wannabe woman French woman,  embracing one’s feminine leadership qualities means listening, asking questions and not being afraid to admit that you don’t have all the answers and that you need help with a plan. She credits her feminine qualities as the key to her own success. But we wonder if these really will hold much weight for women in a corporate environment?

On Being Perfect:

Someone in the audience asked about how she balanced being a mother and leading such a prestigious company. Ms. Chiquet responded: “The Idea of perfection makes us look terrible.”

There are a few studies about why women who are presented with corporate leadership positions decline the offer. This is because they don’t feel like dealing with the politics and responsibilities.  When I think of how sad that sounds, I wonder how many of us are striving to be cookie cutter perfect.

On Wolford Bras And The New Luxury Experience:

“I just bought a Gucci shirt.  I went into the store to try it on, but I ended up buying it online. I was so excited about my purchase at the end,” Ms Chiquet shared with the IVY audience.

According to Ms Chiquet, we need to look beyond the label and think about what it means to have a luxury experience. “Time is a luxury. Space is a luxury.”  If online shopping makes it easy to buy clothes then the brick and mortar store has to offer more.   Take for example, Chanel who offers in-house tailoring, that experience alone must be done in-person and a true luxury to have found your go-to couture tailor.

“I was really upset I couldn’t use my store credit that I received from Wolford online, I had to go in- store.”

Do you agree?