Chanel, timeless feminism

At the origin of the French haute couture house, a woman: Gabrielle Chanel, known as "Coco Chanel". The young woman initially opened a hat store in Paris in 1909.

She then developed in 1912 by opening a salon at 21, rue Cambon near Place Vendôme, thanks to the financial assistance of her companion Boy Capel. It was the beginning of the success driven by his avant-garde vision and which led him to open two stores in the provinces the following year.

She is famous in particular for her elegant little black dress, her tweed suit and her emblematic perfume N°5 designed in 1921.

A real revolution

The designer took part in the haute couture revolution by replacing the traditional corset with the comfort and elegance of simple suits and dresses. She felt the changes in society and dressed women in practical and sober outfits, created floating clothes, shortened skirts and popularized jersey, a light fabric used for underwear. Its style is in keeping with neutral and uncluttered shades.

His originality, drawing inspiration from the clothes of his lovers and his desire to emancipate women. She thus introduced jersey, tweed, uniform buttons and straps, cardigans, costume jewellery, women's trousers and short hair fashion into her collections.

Chanel announces this “new silhouette” which will earn it its reputation. With a liberating scissor cut, she becomes one of the first women with short hair to create simple and practical clothes, whose aesthetics are inspired by a dynamic and sporty life that likes to play with feminine/masculine codes.

Coco Chanel liberates women's outfits

As a free and active woman, Coco Chanel perceived the needs due to the shortage of fabrics due to the war, as well as the relative shortage of domestic labour, which created new needs for women. She therefore creates clothes largely inspired by those of men, cut in the same fabrics as theirs and adds them to the clothing panoply of the woman whom she wishes to be modern and dynamic, knowing how to combine comfort with elegance.

The one who was nicknamed "Mademoiselle" by her friends is the first seamstress to launch her own perfumes. With the help of his perfumer, Ernest Beaux, who designed: No5 (1921), which became world famous, but also No22 (1922), Gardenia (1925) Bois des Îles (1926) and Cuir de Russie (1926). To distribute its product internationally. The success of the perfume N°5 contributed to make Chanel known all over the world.

Chanel, an endless story

Although the death of the designer marks a turning point in the history of the brand in 1971, the company nevertheless tries to integrate into the international market. The Karl Lagerfeld era took off in 1983, when he became Artistic Director of Chanel Mode. In each of his fashion shows, Karl Lagerfeld introduces a number of models which constitute the contemporary version of those created by Coco in the past.

In 2014, the House now belongs to Alain and Gérard Wertheimer, the grandsons of Coco Chanel?s partner. Chanel has more than 240 exclusive boutiques around the world.

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