Gabrielle Chanel, better known as Coco, transformed the women’s fashion industry by bringing elegance and simple design to over-designed, opulent fashion.
Known for the iconic Little Black Dress, the Chanel Suit and of course the perfume No. 5 de Chanel, the Parisian fashion house brought function and flattery to haute couture and prêt-à-porter.
Iconic quilted handbags and unbeatable runway shows aside, the label has continued to break down barriers in fashion while still maintaining the elegance on which it was built.
The iconic Chanel logo was given to Chanel by the Château de Crémat. Spotted on handbags, shoes, perfume and more, the logo is made up of two interlocking C’s in opposite directions.
The House of Chanel was founded by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1909.
Chanel is worth $9 billion.
Chanel is currently owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer. Their family has had business input in the fashion house since their grandfather Pierre Wertheimer struck a deal with Coco in 1924.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel moves to Deauville and begins designing hats after pursuing a short singing career. Later she meets wealthy Englishman Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel who offers her a Parisian apartment and finances her first boutiques.
Chanel opens her first store, Chanel Modes, on 21 Rue Cambon.
Chanel opens a store in Deauville.
Chanel introduces a sportswear collection made of jersey cotton. It features the now-ubiquitous Breton striped tee.
Chanel opens her first couture house in Biarritz.
Chanel opens her first couture house in Paris, at 31 Rue Cambon.
Chanel’s first fragrance, Chanel No.5 launches.
The first Chanel make-up line launches with lipsticks and face powders.
The Chanel tweed suit debuts.
The Chanel Little Black Dress lands and features on the cover of Vogue. The now-iconic dress continues to inspire fashion to this day.
Chanel designs for Hollywood icons like Gloria Swanson, Ina Claire and Greta Garbo on the request of Samuel Goldwyn.
Now at the height of her fame, Chanel owns 5 boutiques at Rue Cambon but decides to close her boutiques throughout the Second World War. Only 31 Rue Cambon remains open selling perfume to American soldiers.
Coco returns to Paris after fleeing to Switzerland during the war. Unhappy with the New Look, introduced by Dior, she brings back her signature style and her tweed suit is reintroduced with success.
Marilyn Monroe famously drops the line “five drop of Chanel No.5” when asked in an interview what she wore to bed.
Fashion’s most iconic bag lands. The now quintessential Chanel 2.55 becomes the first-ever handbag with a strap.
Chanel’s iconic two-toned slingback launches.
Brigitte Bardot and Romy Schneider are snapped using the 2.55 bag.
Jackie Kennedy wears a pink Chanel suit on the day of President Kennedy’s assassination.
Coco Chanel dies at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. She works up right until her death.
French model and actress Catherine Deneuve becomes the face of No.5.
Cristalle eau de toilette is launched.
Chanel’s first non-couture prêt-à-porter line is launched.
Chanel appoints Jacques Polge as new perfumer. He creates Coco, Coco Mademoiselle, Allure and Chance to name but a few.
Karl Lagerfeld is appointed chief designer.
Chanel’s first exclusive model is signed – Ines de la Fressange.
A new fragrance, Coco is launched.
The first Chanel watch debuts inspired by Place Vendôme and the iconic No. 5 perfume.
Vanessa Paradis is the face of Coco.
The Chanel fine jewelry and watch line launches.
Chanel Chance fragrance launches.
Chanel opens a Madison Avenue jewelry and watch outlet.
Maureen Chiquet is appointed CEO. The fashion house develops its own studio for jewelry creation.
Chanel introduces the Boy bag – named after Gabrielle’s beau – Boy Capel.
Chanel opens a new flagship store on London’s New Bond Street and celebrates 100 years since its first boutique opening.
Nick Hochland succeeds Chiquet as CEO.
Chanel bans furs and exotic skins from its collections. Chanel debuts its first-ever men’s make-up line.
Chanel appoints Virgine Viard as the new Creative Director after the death of Karl Lagerfeld.
Chanel drops a collaboration with Pharrell Williams.
Chanel hires its first head of Diversity and Inclusion.