Presently, we can all agree that Chanel is perhaps the most universally recognized design house. Ever the businesswoman, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel knew marketing: while Paul Poiret was the first designer to sell perfume, Chanel was the first to put her name on the bottle--a genius branding maneuver.
Chanel’s success can be attributed to the fact that everything is created with utility and ease in mind: from the fabric (she was the first to implement jersey in womenswear--previously reserved for men’s underpants) to the silhouette (she was also the first to make sailor shirts, trousers, and straw boater hats common staples for women on holiday), Coco designed pieces mostly for herself. The idea of women adapting men’s clothing to their own needs was revolutionary: the reduction of excess--of floppy, adorned wide-brimmed hats, of underpinnings and hoop skirts, and of buttoned-to-the-neck collars--was at once freeing and exhilarating.
Chanel’s background and experience--as reflected in her designs--ushered in a new era of European femininity that ultimately trickled down into everyday womenswear. Coco fundamentally shifted the status quo and inspired decades of style.
Apart from the interlocking Cs, Chanel was known for such staples as The Little Black Dress. In 1954, Vogue likened the highly copied LBD to the mass-produced automobile, “...declaring that its quality was assured by its brand name, just as the Ford name guaranteed the quality of the company’s cars: ‘Here is the Ford signed Chanel’”. Since Karl Lagerfeld revived the house in 1983, more than ever, women the world over proudly display the Chanel logo, an indication of taste and distinction.
Lagerfeld honors Coco’s essence by incorporating iconic elements such as the bouclé suit, boater hat, quilted purse, and Parisienne stripes, but always with a modern spin. In doing so, the Chanel woman, who from the very start in the 1920s was viewed as progressive without compromising style, effortlessly evolves with time.
With that said, wouldn’t you like a little more Chanel in your life? Apart from the obvious, there are a few things that make Chanel an enticing investment:
- It’s Chanel.
- Vintage Chanel maintains and even accrues value, depending on how collectible the item is.
- Chanel pieces are lifetime pieces. That classic black quilted flap bag? You’ll have it forever. And your daughter will love it.
- It’s Chanel.
We’ve put together a fab collection of Chanel bouclé jackets, iconic accessories, and of course, quilted bags. Shop the collection now!
Charles-Roux, Edmonde. Chanel and Her World. Reprint ed. Vendome, 1979. 256. Print.
Koda, Harold, and Andrew Bolton. Chanel (Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications). 1st ed. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. 216. Print.