The Lady who took Fashion to a whole new level for Women
Students of Nitte School of Fashion Technology and Interior Design, one of the top fashion colleges of Bangalore, are greatly inspired by this personality who started from a scratch and build an empire in the fashion world.
If you are a fashion enthusiast, you would definitely know the luxury brand CHANEL, but do you know the story behind it?
Will you believe me if I said that the person behind the brand was from an under privileged background?
Yes, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel is that person. She was born in 1883 in Saumur and belonged to a poor family.
She had a brief career as a cabaret singer in clubs, where she adopted the name Coco.
Around the age of 20, Chanel met Etienne Balson, an ex-cavalry officer and they became close friends. He offered to help her start a millinery business in Paris.
On the way to hold a grip in the millinery business, she met Arthur Capel, the love of her life.
Both the men were contributory in Chanel’s first fashion venture.
She opened her first shop in 1910 at Rue Cambon in Paris selling hats.
Later Coco added a clothing boutique in Deauville. She made innovative use of jersey fabric to make comfortable clothing for women which was earlier used to make men’s underwear alone.
She quickly gained an emerging reputation for being on of the leading edge in fashion because of her revolutionary designs.
In 1920s, Chanel took her flourishing business to new heights by launching her first perfume Chanel No 5. It was the first one to feature a designer’s name.
Another revolutionary design was Chanel’s Little Black Dress. She took a color that was once associated to mourning and showed how chic it would look for an evening wear.
In 1925, she introduced the now prominent Chanel suit with the collarless jacket and well fitted skirt.
Her designs set new standards for borrowing elements from Men’s wear and emphasizing comfort over constraints. She helped women say goodbye to Corsets.
Chanel once quoted that “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not Luxury”
During the outbreak of World War II, Chanel had to close her business, but this wasn’t the end for her. At the age of 70, Chanel made an exultant return to the fashion world. She was initially criticized but eventually her feminine and easy fitting designs won shoppers around the world.
A decade after her death, Karl Lagerfeld took the reins at her company to continue the Chanel legacy.
Even today Chanel is one of the top luxury brands and is believed to generate hundreds of millions in sales every year.
One of the famous lines quoted by Chanel says, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman”.
Well yes, this woman is remembered!