The story of coco chanel: legend of a fashion icon

The Story of Coco Chanel: Legend of a Fashion Icon

Throughout history, many fashion icons have built their houses on rocky ground. Some have fallen. Rising to the top is the House of Chanel. Commanding attention as a leader in revenue and demand for fashion-conscious women, Chanel handbags—and the designer herself—have stood the test of time for nearly two centuries.

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was born in 1883 and orphaned shortly thereafter. Nevertheless, defying the odds, she built a powerhouse of fashion that continues to evolve haute couture into the twenty first century.  The trademark “Coco” nickname was bestowed upon her during her singing days in a small Paris caf?. Coco used her woman’s intuition to choose several men who would help launch her success into the retail world. After opening her fist establishment in 1910, Coco quickly moved into the high-class Rue Cambon, graduating from selling women’s hats to sexy, fashion forward women’s garments. The Chanel clothing line revolutionized Paris fashion, and the way women around the world related to their bodies.

With the release of the little black dress, the House of Chanel exploded with fame. The simplistic design of Chanel’s haute couture was appealing to women who had been bound by corsets and stifled by uncomfortable fabrics. Her easy moving, jersey type garments introduced a casual feel to the most elegant suits and dresses. Coupling tradition with function, the “Chanel Suit” again rocked the industry when it was released in the early 1920’s. Following closely on the heels of these timeless articles, Chanel No. 5 made its debut in 1921, and in 1924 the company launched La Societe des Parfums Chanel.  Before the year’s end, Chanel costume jewelry would be lauded by Harpers Bazaar as “one of the most revolutionary designs of our time.”

In 1935, the renowned designer reached her peak, owning several buildings and employing over four thousand people all over France.  Closing the couture house and retiring in 1939, Chanel continued to sell perfumes and accessories in her boutiques.  “Mademoiselle” (a nickname given by those close to her) came out of retirement in 1955 and made her mark on the fashion world by releasing a revolutionary Chanel handbag. The Chanel 2.55 became her personal signature on the world, infused with many personal references from her life.  There was such a deluge of orders that the designer had to decline some of them due to the painstaking methods of construction they required. In 1957, a Fashion Oscar dubbed Coco Chanel as “the most influential designer of the twentieth century.”

The Chanel 2.55 has remained the “classic” Chanel purse throughout history.  Its design simplicity incorporates a chain strap woven with leather, and boasts the double C logo that made the brand famous.  A Reissue of the original 2.55 has slight differences, including the “mademoiselle lock” and a double-chain strap.

Below are some of the more popular Chanel handbags that are in demand among the movers and shakers of the fashion world:

• The Classic Flap: This classic Chanel purse is distinguished by quilted panels, a  leather woven chain strap, and a brass double C lock.

• The Clutch: This subtle, timeless Chanel handbag also makes use of the brand’s classic quilting and double C clasp.

• The Shopping Bag: Hit the city streets with this oversized bag, embellished with the double C icon logo and a chain strap interwoven with leather. Choose from leather and woven textiles. Some variations are equipped with comfort grip handles.

• The Tote: You can’t go wrong with the classic simplicity of this women’s tote. Design features include leather handles, a brass double C clasp, and simple closure. Generous proportions make it suitable for a laptop or work files.

• The Bowling Bag: This trend-setting Chanel purse is popular among young female consumers. It’s available in a spectrum of fashionable colors. Features include classic Chanel quilting, a handsome double C icon, and chain-accented leather strap handles.

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