"Chanel" is a French fashion house, specializing mainly in "haute couture", luxury items and fashion accessories. In her youth, Gabrielle Chanel earned the nickname Coco since her time as a singer and performer of live music. As a fashion designer, Coco Chanel took care of women’s taste for elegance in clothing, T-shirts, suits, pants, dresses, and jewelery (gemstone and jewelry) of simple design, which replaced tight-fitting clothes and accessories, with design nineteenth-century fashion charge. Chanel product brands have been personified by idols, actors and big names including: Inès de La Fressange, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman, Anna Mouglalis, Audrey Tautou, Keira Knightley, Kristen Stewart, Pharrell Williams, Cara Delevingne and Marilyn Monroe.
The fashion house "Chanel" is known for the "little black dress", the perfume No. 5 of Chanel, and the suit "Chanel". Chanel revolutionized haute couture and everyday fashion (pret-à-porter) - replacing structured silhouettes, based on corsets and body, with clothes that were functional and at the same time sleek for the female figure .
Chanel used colors traditionally associated with the masculine gender in Europe, such as navy gray and navy blue, to show the courage and sensuality of the female character.
The era of Coco Chanel
The Chanel House (Chanel SA) dates back to 1909 when Gabrielle Chanel opened a shop on 160 Malesherbes Boulevard. The building was located near a place frequented by Parisian nobility and the upper class and there Coco Chanel discovered how to sell hats to upper class ladies.
World War I (1914-1918) influenced European fashion through a lack of materials and the mobilization of women. At the time, Chanel had opened a large dress shop on Cambon 31, near the Hôtel Ritz, in Paris; among the garments for sale were t-shirts, straight linen skirts, navy t-shirts, long sweaters made of fabric, and suits with skirts.
Some of the Chanel models were derived from the military uniforms spread by the war. By 1915, models and garments produced by the Chanel House were popular throughout France.
In 1915 and 1917, Harper's Bazaar magazine reported that Chanel House garments were "on every buyer's list" for European garment factories. The Chanel dress shop at 31 Cambon Street introduced simple-patterned dress and coat ensembles, black evening dresses embellished with lace; dresses of tulle fabric decorated with precious stone materials.
After World War I, the Chanel House, following the fashion trends of the 1920s, produced beaded dresses. By 1920, Chanel had designed and introduced a women’s suit - which allowed a woman to have a modern, feminine look, but at the same time was comfortable and practical. This dress became known as the Chanel suit.
In 1921, to complement the brand profile, Coco Chanel commissioned perfumer Ernest Beaux to create a perfume for Chanel House. His perfumes included perfume No. 5, named after the sample number that Chanel liked best. Initially, a bottle with no. 5 de Chanel was a gift to Chanel customers. The popularity of the perfume prompted Chanel House to offer it for retail in 1922.
In 1923, to explain the success of her collections, Coco Chanel told Harper's Bazaar magazine: "Simplicity is the target of all true elegance."
Success and No. 5 encouraged Coco Chanel to expand sales of perfumes beyond France and Europe and to develop other perfumes - for which it required investment capital and entry into the North American market.
Elegance and war
By the 1920s, Coco Chanel had advanced into women’s models in the 1930s. Evening dress models were characterized by an elongated feminine style, and summer dresses displayed more sensuality. In 1932, Chanel introduced a jewelry exhibition dedicated to diamond as a basic fashion accessory. The Chanel house also introduced leather bags with either gold-colored chains or metal leather chains. The quilted leather bag was unveiled to the public in February 1955.
Coco Chanel died on January 10, 1971, at the age of 87. She was still designing at the time of her death.
In 1983 Karl Lagerfeld took over the role as lead designer for Chanel. Like Coco Chanel, he saw the past as the inspiration for his plans. It included Chanel fabrics and details such as gold fringes and chains. Lagerfeld held high the prestige of Chanel, but also helped bring the brand to the present day. During the 1980s, more than 40 Chanel boutiques opened around the world.