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How Chanel Got Its Name

Updated on February 6, 2017

A Subtle Style of Luxury by Chanel

Coco Chanel was born in the small city of Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France. She created... the little black dress, the beige slingback with black toecap, N5, the tweed suit, the jersey dress, the chain belt, N19, the total look, costume jewelry, the topstitched bag with gilt chain, the cashmere cardigan... a business, a style, a spirit.

She knew very well that style comes not only from apparel, but also from attitude. CHANEL creates apparel, accessories, fragrance, makeup and skin care products that give women and men the freedom to feel and look their best.

You will find in this lens a variety of her designed items that bear the name Chanel!

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Coco Chanel At a Glance

Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel (August 19, 1883 - January 10, 1971) was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist philosophy, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion. Her influence on haute couture was such that she was the only person in the field to be named on TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people of the 20th century. ( read more from Wikipedia )

"A woman can be over-dressed, never over-elegant." -Coco Chanel

Timeline in Chanel

  • In 1909, Gabrielle Chanel opened a small shop on the ground floor of the Balsan's apartment in Paris - the beginnings of what would later become one of the greatest fashion empires in the world. The Balsan home was a meeting place of the hunting elite of France and the gentlemen brought their fashionable mistresses along, giving Coco the opportunity to sell the women decorated hats.
  • Parfums Chanel: the late 1920s Parfums Chanel was founded in 1924 by Pierre Wertheimer (in collaboration with Coco Chanel) to produce and sell perfumes and beauty products.
  • Chanel and Nazi affiliation: 1930s through 1950s

    When France fell under the control of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany in 1940, the Nazis made the Ritz their French headquarters. Pierre Wertheimer and his family fled to the United States in 1940, and before Coco could take control of Parfums Chanel, Wertheimer made an "Aryan proxy" for the company.

  • Chanel's comeback: 1950s through 1970s
  • Creative Director at Chanel Jacques Helleu followed Coco Chanel's credo, having designed the first Chanel watch named 'Premiere' in 1987. The first model of the Chanel J12 watches line was introduced in 2000.
  • In 2005, Chanel designers introduced the J12 line into the area of Fine Jewelry timepieces - they developed the jewelry watch that was equipped with the tourbillion. Chanel asked experienced Swiss watchmakers to develop the exclusive 'CHANEL O5-T.1' movement.
  • In 2006, the line was joined by Chanel J12 Haute Joaillerie set with 597 baguette-cut diamonds, followed by the creation of the Chanel J12 Tourbillon Haute Joaillerie. In 2007, Chanel launched its first J12 GMT model.
  • In 2008, Chanel initiated the partnership with Audemars Piguet, having developed the 'J12 calibre 3125', equipped with an innovative automatic movement - CHANEL AP - 3125, the fusion of the AP 3120 movement and Chanel 'J12' ceramic.

Chanel - Coco Mademoiselle TV ads with Keira Knightley

Did You Know?

The signature Chanel logotype is an interlocking double-C (one facing forwards the other facing backwards). Originally it was not a logo that Coco Chanel came up with. The logo derives from the name "Coco", the two C's. The logotype was not trademarked until the opening of the first Chanel stores.

Chanel is currently dealing with illegal use of the double-C logotype on cheaper goods, especially counterfeit handbags.

Countries said to be producing great numbers of counterfeit Chanel handbags are Vietnam, Thailand, and China. An authentic Chanel handbag retails from around $1,500 USD, while a counterfeit usually costs around $100 USD, creating a demand for the signature style at a cheaper price. All authentic Chanel handbags are serialized.

Audrey Toutou starring as Coco Chanel in upcoming film Coco Before Chanel

Audrey Toutou starring as Coco Chanel in upcoming film Coco Before Chanel
Audrey Toutou starring as Coco Chanel in upcoming film Coco Before Chanel

Chanel Videos | Commercial Videos

Chanel Fan Feedback!

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      jennysue19 7 years ago

      Interesting lens -my favourite Chanel fragrance is 'Coco'

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      Risa28 8 years ago

      Nice lens. I love Chanel too and have an authentic vintage skirt and vintage pair of pants. Thanks for sharing. 5*s

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      GramaBarb 8 years ago from Vancouver

      I had no idea Chanel had so many products. A very educational lens! 5*