That's awkward: Chanel apologises for team "dysfunctionality" in not crediting Mati Ventrillon's Fair Isle knitwear designs in its 2016 preview show

Madeline Ratcliffe
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Karl Lagerfeld takes his bow at the show with the unfortunate jumper (Source: Getty)

Chanel has apologised to Fair Isle knitwear designer Mati Ventrillon for showing designs at its 2016 preview show that she was not credited for, blaming team "dysfunctionality".

Buyers from the luxury fashion house visited Ventrillon in Fair Isle earlier this year and said anything they purchased would be for research purposes only. The designer said on her Facebook page:

Earlier this summer two Chanel staff visited Fair Isle and bought some of my stock garments with the understanding that the garments were for research, I specifically said that I was going to sell it to them for the reputation of Chanel house and because I would not expect them to copy my design... little did I know.

Near identical sweaters then appeared on Chanel's 2015/16 Métiers d’Art pre-fall runway in Rome at the beginning of this month.

Chanel said it resulted from a "dysfunctionality" within its teams and apologised.

In an official statement Chanel said:

Further to discussions that have allowed the parties to clarify this issue, Chanel will credit Mati Ventrillon by including the words 'Mati Ventrillon design' in its communication tools to recognise her as the source of inspiration for the knitwear models in question. Chanel recognises that this situation resulted from a dysfunctionality within its teams and has presented its apologies. Chanel also recognises the heritage and know-how of Fair Isle. Chanel wishes to emphasise that the House is extremely vigilant in terms of its respect for creativity, whether its own or that of others.

The Fair Isle designer said she had a "great respect" for Chanel and hoped luxury labels and craft designers could continue to work together.

She added in a statement on Facebook that it's about "the importance of giving craft the right value".

"All your knowledge, all your skills, all your understanding, all your history, all your heritage has no value when it comes to business so what are we craft people going to do?" she said.

"How are skills and heritage going to be valued in the future if we want tradition and craftsmanship to survive?"

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