Chanel is an iconic name, known to all across the world. Founded by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel in 1910, the French luxury brand changed women’s fashion forever. The label began with couture, designing clothes for women that challenged the typical styles of the time. Before Chanel, silhouettes aimed to illustrate an hourglass figure, corsets restricted, and dresses billowed. This was all changed with Chanel’s introductions of more relaxed silhouettes in dresses, blouses and trousers. Functional and flattering, the label used traditionally masculine elements and colour palettes to create a new femininity in comparison to the styles of the 19th century. Designs were still elegant and glamorous, but completely different to what had come before. Iconic designs such as the Chanel suit, cardigan jackets, LBD and wide-leg trousers modernised fashion, making Chanel an internationally recognised brand.
After decades of success, Coco Chanel died in 1971. Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Coco Chanel have owned the brand since 1974. Since Coco Chanel’s death, the label has been directed by many names, including Karl Lagerfeld who is seen as synonymous with the brand, taking it from strength to strength. After his death in 2019, Virginie Viard took over as Creative Director of Chanel, having had many years at the forefront of design within the brand. Ready-to-wear lines were launched in 1978 and continue to be produced by Viard today, who moves the brand in a traditionally-Chanel direction.
Chanel produces womens couture, ready-to-wear, jewellery, fragrance, eyewear, cosmetics, accessories and shoes. Under Lagerfeld, Chanel produced high-octane glamour, unquestionably luxurious and fantastical. With such incredible designs and inimitable allure, Viard had big boots to fill. The Viard era of Chanel has begun very differently than the years under Lagerfeld, and although different, the outcome is still just as elegant and enticing. Focusing on a refined elegance, Chanel is now reminiscent of its beginnings, with subtle and effortless style at the heart of all designs. Timeless Chanel styles from years gone by have been reimagined, seen in the Chanel tweed suit, LBDs and laid-back silhouettes. Largely black and white colour palettes are used throughout collections, letting the exceptionally-crafted clothing and intricate details do the talking. The chic aesthetic can be seen from chiffon gowns to sleek separates, creating an air of luxury which embodies Chanel.
Chanel has over 300 stores located across the world, in department stores as well as stand-alone boutiques. Their ready-to-wear and accessories can also be purchased online through the Chanel website.