Through her life, Gabrielle Chanel embodied strength, character and a fierce desire for independence. Maison CHANEL, avant-garde and constantly innovative, has come down through the decades to become an unmistakable symbol of distinction, elegance and refinement.
Gabrielle Chanel was born in 1883. After spending her childhood in an orphanage, she became a seamstress. She was very soon successful and moved into 21 rue Cambon in Paris, where she made hats with the “Chanel Mode” label. In 1913, she opened her first fashion boutique in Deauville followed, in 1915, by a fashion house in Biarritz. Her avant-garde style clearly set her apart from the fashions of her time.
By 1918, Gabrielle Chanel was running one of the largest fashion houses of the day. In the space of just a few years, she also took over numbers 27 to 31 rue Cambon, where the Fashion House named after her is still headquartered.
1921 marked the creation of the legendary CHANEL No. 5 by Ernest Beaux.
In 1932, Gabrielle Chanel made a remarkable entry into the world of Fine Jewellery with her “Diamond Jewellery” collection.
In 1935, Chanel was at the height of her fame. At that time she was heading up a company with a workforce of around four thousand people.
The Second World War obliged her to close down her fashion house. Only her store at 31 rue Cambon remained open. Perfumes and accessories were still successfully sold there.
Gabrielle Chanel made her great comeback in 1954. She was 71, and decided to begin her collection with a jersey suit, the No. 5. In 1955, she was crowned “the most influential designer of the twentieth century” and received a Fashion Oscar from Stanley Neiman Marcus, owner of the large fashion stores of that name in Dallas.
She died in 1971.
In 1987, CHANEL moved into watchmaking with the “Première” watch, opening its first dedicated store at 40 avenue Montaigne.
In 2000, CHANEL launched the iconic sporty and contemporary-looking J12. The traditional values of CHANEL were followed, including the famous Maison’s colour codes: black and white. These colours are sublimated by the use of high-tech ceramic.