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The Rise of the Viral Chanel F1 Tee

No, no, no. It's not just a tee.


via Instagram

Every now and then, fashion lovers find a new fixation. From Y-2K to Barbiecore, fashion trends often transcend what’s going on in pop culture, or designers predict people’s obsessions for the future. The latest prediction that seems to have caught the attention of every girl's eye comes from Virginie Viard, the creative director of Chanel, and her 2023 resort collection, which has seen an overnight success with a particular Chanel Formula 1 t-shirt.


Viard has capitalized on the new wave of girls taking interest in motorsports, but more specifically, the pomp and extravagance of Formula 1, which has risen in popularity since COVID. Formula 1 is no longer just a status marker for the wealthy in sports but is now a status marker in the fashion world. Models, actors and actresses, tycoons of various industries, and the general fans of one of the biggest sports in the world flock to Monte-Carlo, Monaco, for the Grand Prix every May. While the sport itself has a hold on people, the attendees also offer outsiders a gripping fashion show of sorts through videos and photos of outfits and aesthetics galore on social media. The desire for association with F1, even in the slightest, became a new subject for influencers and fashion phenoms to focus on. The Chanel t-shirt became quite the overnight must-have for every Formula-1 fangirl, especially after it was worn at the race by influencers. But not only does Formula 1 play a role in the success of this shirt, but also the spark of a new-age approach that Chanel is starting to turn toward, focusing on wearability and appeal to younger and on-trend consumers.




Through its embroidered and beaded detailing, featuring a baby-blue F1 car complete with the Chanel moniker, the number 5, and the glittering Monte-Carlo background and Chanel lettering, set on a basic white t-shirt, the Chanel F1 shirt became the association to the lavish sport and the high-end brand that influencers and fangirls were looking for. Well, those that could afford the association. The top garnered so much fame that the price tag began to rise, ranging from $4,500 to $5,500, with speculation that the price could keep skyrocketing. Outrageous for a t-shirt? Probably. Has Chanel tapped into a more modern and trendy approach to drive demand? Most definitely.


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