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Tuesday 26 April, 2011 - 10:00 AM EDT

Chanel's History

A luxury brand path

Gabrielle Coco Chanel rose as one of the premier fashion designers in Paris (France) when in 1912 opened her first millinery shop and she remained up to the 1920s.
She set up in the fashion world including simple suits and dresses, also women's trousers, costume jewellery, perfume and textiles. In addition to this, she got to replace the corset with comfort and casual elegance.

Gabrielle Coco Chanel was born in Saumur in 1883. She belonged to a very poor family and her mother died when Gabrielle was six years old leaving her and her four other children to the care of her father who soon abandoned them to the care of relatives.

But to our surprise, Gabrielle Coco Chanel has always said that her date of birth was 1893 and her place of birth was Auvergue. In her life appeared two men important for her career; one a wealthy military officer and then an English industrialist. Both were Gabrielle's source to establish a millinery shop in Paris in 1910, expanding later to Deauville and Biarritz. These two men also helped her to get in touch with costumers among women of society, and that was the way her simple hats became popular as well as her name adopted with her brief career as a café and concert singer.

By the 1920s Coco's fashion house spread considerably. She was the first in the French fashion world working in jersey and soon her chemise set up a fashion trend with its look that women followed. On the contrary to previous decades when the corset was considered fashionable, Chanel's fashion trend made a difference with her relaxed fashions, short skirts, and casual look. Chanel herself adopted this more comfortable style which other women considered inappropriate to wear.

Chanel introduced a different style not only in the fashion world but also in other areas. In 1922 Chanel launched the Chanel No. 5, a perfume which became and remained popular as well as a profitable product of the Chanel brand. In 1924, Pierre Wertheimer became her partner in the perfume business. Wertheimer owned 70% of the company; Coco Chanel received 10% and her friend Bader 20%. The Wertheimers continue to control the perfume company today.

In 1925 Chanel introduced her signature cardigan jacket and in 1926 did the same with "little black dress". Most of her fashion remains almost unchanged from generation to generation.
It is also known that Chanel served as a nurse during the Wold War I and this caused the fashion business in Paris to fade for a while. In addition to this, her relationship with a Nazi officer also led to some years where the fashion business went down. However, her natural and casual clothing became popular again in 1954 including the Chanel suit and purses. In 1971 she launched to the market the pea jackets and bell-bottom pants for women but this was also a sad moment because it was in 1971 that she died. Karl Lagerfeld has been chief designer of Chanel's fashion house since 1983.

Apart from working with high fashion, she also designed stage costumes for such plays as Cocteau's Antigone (1923) and Oedipus Rex (1937) and film costumes for several movies, including Renoir's La Regle de Jeu. Katharine Hepburn starred in the 1969 Broadway musical Coco based on the life of Coco Chanel.

In 1987, when Chanel watches appeared on the market, they gained the same classic elegance as her clothing had. The concept of quality, elegance and dependability has marked watches which are marketed under the name Chanel as well as all products. They keep their reputation as the sophisticated and elegant products of the House of Chanel, with avant-garde designs. Chanel watches have been in a high price range due to the power of the name, as well as to the earned reputation for quality and beauty.

Another point to be mentioned is the Chanel watches designers known by the quality of their designs, the creation and the production of exclusive watch straps. Each watch passes tests for scratch resistance as well as water resistance. Every single watch is individually numbered . Moreover, the quality and durability of Chanel watches make a two-year warranty on the watch a great selling point.

"Fashion passes, style remains": one of the most famous sayings of Coco Chanel, the great founder of the brand that marked an icon in history. With this she has summed up for more than a century the basic principle upon which the history and activity of the Parisian have based on. Coco Chanel must have detested the small-sized illegible jewelry women's watches of the era, she simply called such watches 'Microbes'. Chanel is related to the creation of jewels, accessories, watches, garments or perfumes that over time become great classics, and which do not disappear with the finish of the passing trends that introduced them into the market. Chanel has always had the ability to face the difficult and fascinating challenge of remaining up-to-date even though time goes by, when they create models with the gift of a timelessness magic charm...

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