Wednesday 21 October 2009

The History of Chanel


The luxury Parisian based fashion house Chanel is one of
the most recognized names worldwide in haute couture.

The fashion powerhouse was born in 1909, when the first
shop was opened in Paris by Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel,
better known as Coco Chanel. From humble beginnings on the
ground floor of the Balsan home, the shop soon moved to the
Rue Cambon in Paris.

During the 1913 - 1917 period Chanel sold a variety of
clothing, including women's sportswear, blazers, skirts and
sweaters. Her designs soon became popular for their

In the 1920's Coco Chanel literally revolutionized the
fashion haute couture industry, by replacing the rigid
"corset style" with fashion based on comfort and elegance,
thus firmly establishing her reputation as a fashion
couturier. In 1921 she released the first perfume, which we
all know as the world famous Chanel No. 5. Needless to say,
the introduction of this fragrance was a massive success.
In 1924 she further expanded the business to include
costume jewelry

In 1925, Coco introduced the World to her signature
cardigan jacket and then in 1926, her trademark and
immediately successful "little black dress". Her shorter
skirts and relaxed fashions were in sharp contrast to the
attire popular with previous generations. In later years
she was also responsible for the introduction of women's
pea jackets,bell bottom pants and the timeless Chanel suit.

During World War II there were strong suspicions that Coco
Chanel was on a very friendly basis with the Germans due
mostly to her affair with a Nazi Officer. After the
liberation of Paris by the Allies she was actually arrested
for aiding Germany, but an intervention by Winston
Churchill facilitated her release. She was, however, forced
to flee to Switzerland under threat of reprisals by the
French against all women who were suspected of having
collaborated with Nazi Germany.

On her return to Paris in 1953 she discovered that another
famous fashion house, Christian Dior, was now the dominant
force in the market place. By renewing her business
relationship with former Chanel partner Pierre Wertheimer,
Coco was soon able to catapult the Chanel label to
prominence once again.

Coco Chanel died in 1971.

Pierre Wertheimer's son, Alain, took over the company in
1974. He rekindled interest in the fading Chanel No. 5
fragrance with some intelligent marketing and also secured
the services of designer Karl Lagerfeld, previously the
Head Designer for Fendi.

Coco Chanel and her designs have made a lasting impression
on the fashion industry. With Headquarters based in Paris,
her legacy contimues in over 200 Chanel boutiques worldwide.

About the Author:

Trevor Eastveld is an online marketer and owner of the
World's Largest Online Replica Designer Handbag Site.

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