Charlotte Casiraghi, Princess Grace's Granddaughter, Opens Chanel Fashion Show on Horseback

Charlotte Casiraghi was named a Chanel brand ambassador in December 2020

Charlotte Casiraghi
Charlotte Casiraghi. Photo: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Charlotte Casiraghi knows how to make an entrance.

On Monday, Casiraghi, the daughter of Monaco's Princess Caroline and granddaughter of Princess Grace, kicked of the Chanel show at Paris Fashion Week Tuesday on horseback.

Dressed in a glittering black tweed jacket, pants and sleek riding boots, Casiraghi — a veteran equestrian — trotted on the runway to the surprise of attendees, including Pharrell Williams. The course, which was designed by artist Xavier Veilhan allowed for Casiraghi's horse to gallop freely.

As Casiraghi's sporty moment proved the versatility of Chanel garments, a film shown in the background stressed the importance of horses to the work of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, whose earliest clients included women who loved racing.

Chanel : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2022
Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty

Casiraghi, 35, isn't the first to bring a stallion on the catwalk. Last year, Virginie Viard — who took over as creative director of Chanel after Lagerfeld died in 2019 — introduced the year's bride (Lola Nicon) on a majestic white horse.

Chanel : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2022
Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Casiraghi has long been open about her love or horses, telling Harper's Bazaar in 2013: "They've had an important role in my life."

"They gave me the energy to move forward, the ability to fight, giving me a rare confidence and invaluable strength," Casiraghi told the publication.

In 2020, Casiraghi was unveiled as Chanel's latest brand ambassador. She made her official debut in December of that year when Chanel posted the news on Instagram, stating: "Sealing a long relationship based on trust and friendship, started by Karl Lagerfeld and continued today by Virginie Viard, Charlotte Casiraghi will become an ambassador and spokesperson for the House from January 1st 2021."

Charlotte Casiraghi
Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images

The niece of Prince Albert is 11th in the line of succession to Monaco's throne.

In a stylish black-and-white video, Princess Grace's eldest granddaughter says she feels "as though she was almost born with Chanel," adding that she recalls photos taken by Karl Lagerfeld of her mother wearing the brand while she was pregnant.

Casiraghi also notes that for her July 2019 wedding to Dimitri Rassam she wore one of the late designer's last Haute Couture designs and that her fittings were overseen by his successor, Virginie Viard, with whom she shares a deep friendship.

In accepting the role, Casiraghi explains she will be "a contributor not just a muse" and that she believes it's part of her responsibility to stress Chanel's message of female empowerment.

Updated by Peter Mikelbank
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