The History of Chanel
Coco Chanel Biography
From her first millinery shop, opened in 1912, to the 1920s, Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel rose to become one of the premier fashion designers in Paris, France. Replacing the corset with comfort and casual elegance, her fashion themes included simple suits and dresses, women's trousers, costume jewelry, perfume and textiles.
Coco Chanel claimed a birthdate of 1893 and a birthplace of Auvergne; she was actually born in 1883 in Saumur. According to her version of her life story, her mother worked in the poorhouse where Gabrielle was born, and died when Gabrielle was only six, leaving her father with five children whom he promptly abandoned to the care of relatives.
She adopted the name Coco during a brief career as a cafe and concert singer 1905-1908. First a mistress of a wealthy military officer then of an English industrialist, Coco Chanel drew on the resources of these patrons in setting up a millinery shop in Paris in 1910, expanding to Deauville and Biarritz. The two men also helped her find customers among women of society, and her simple hats became popular.
Soon Coco Chanel was expanding to couture, working in jersey, a first in the French fashion world. By the 1920s, her fashion house had expanded considerably, and her chemise set a fashion trend with its "little boy" look. Her relaxed fashions, short skirts, and casual look were in sharp contrast to the corset fashions popular in the previous decades. Chanel herself dressed in mannish clothes, and adapted these more comfortable fashions which other women also found liberating.
In 1922 Coco Chanel introduced a perfume, Chanel No. 5, which became and remained popular, and remains a profitable product of Chanel's company. Pierre Wertheimer became her partner in the perfume business in 1924, and perhaps also her lover. Wertheimer owned 70% of the company; Coco Chanel received 10% and her friend Bader 20%. The Wertheimers continue to control the perfume company today.
Coco Chanel introduced her signature cardigan jacket in 1925 and signature "little black dress" in 1926. Most of her fashions had a staying power, and didn't change much from year to year -- or even generation to generation.
Coco Chanel briefly served as a nurse in World War I. Nazi occupation meant the fashion business in Paris was cut off for some years; Chanel's affair during World War II with a Nazi officer also resulted in some years of diminished popularity and an exile of sorts to Switzerland. In 1954 her comeback restored her to the first ranks of haute couture. Her natural, casual clothing including the Chanel suit once again caught the eye -- and purses -- of women. She introduced pea jackets and bell bottom pants for women. She was still working in 1971 when she died. Karl Lagerfeld has been chief designer of Chanel's fashion house since 1983.
In addition to her work with high fashion, Coco Chanel 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.
The History of Chanel
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 jewelry, 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 have 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...
Chanel J12 Watches
In 2000 Chanel launched for sale on the market the initial model of the unique Chanel watch line; the Chanel J12. But the important stage of the Chanel J12 occurred in 2005 when the Chanel J12 designers made this watch be considered as a Fine Jewelry watch. In a few month this watch became the watch of all the "first times" . The world of boats was Chanel inspiration to give birth to the Chanel J12.
* first model water-resistant to 200 meters
* first unisex watch
* first watch in high-tech non-scratch ceramic material
It was again a victory for Chanel and some years later the success in this model resulted in the creation of a new version of the Chanel J12 passing from the deepest black, exclusively used up to then, to an intense opalescent white, obtained using a new high-tech snow-toned color. This model was improved not only for men but also for women who can enjoy a J12 with an extremely glamorous diamond version. Something to highlight about the Chanel jewelry watch was the incorporation of the tourbillon; the most sophisticated of all watchmaking complications .
Arising the challenge of producing a fine jewelry watch of complicated nature, Chanel had the most experienced Swiss watchmakers to develop the exclusive 'CHANEL O5-T.1' movement. Ultra-thin ceramic bottom-plate (just 2mm thick), optical glass cage, 18-K white gold bridge are some of the exceptional features that take part of the Chanel watches mechanism.
In 2006 the Chanel J12 Haute Joaillerie appeared on the watches market. The Chanel J12 Haute Joaillerie was composed by 605 baguette-cut diamonds which caused great success among clients that loved the Chanel codes (black and white, diamonds and ceramic) The ceramic was adopted by the watchmakers to give the timepiece a brilliant black and white union. This beautiful creation reflects the Chanel belief that white and black colors are a perfect match and also go with everything.
A year later, the Chanel J12 Tourbillon Haute Joaillerie was created. The characteristics of this watch were: the dial of the watch ; two 0,3 mm ceramic plates as well as 9 index diamonds, the tourbillon appears in the head-turning with 568 baguette-cut rubies embracing the watch's bezel, case and bracelet, white gold, black ceramic and also rubies.
Today, the House of Chanel watches is still very much on demand due to a new generation of clients. The Chanel J12 is the first unisex watch for Chanel and it is characterized by clean lines and both masculine and feminine features, making it a watchmaking revolution. In 2003 Chanel introduced the Coco Mademoiselle and the Chanel In-Between Wear, for younger women.
Chanel Premier Watches
For the 20th Chanel Aniversary, in 2007, Jacques Helleu created a new model: smaller, more precious and borrowed legendary pearl bracelet from Chanel Mademoiselle watch. The Chanel Premiere watch dial had 34 baguette-cut diamonds with a bracelet of 194 Akoya pearls carefully mounted on five woven white gold strings.
Creative Director at Chanel Jacques Helleu followed Coco Chanel's credo when he designed the first Chanel watch called 'Premiere' in 1987. Over time, Chanel timekeeping creations have evolved into a collection of remarkably developed watches based upon true watchmaking legitimacy.