1883 august 19 Gabrielle Chanel is born
in Saumur / France
into a poor family.
Her father Albert Chanel was in intinerant street vendor.
Her mother was Jeanne Devolle.
1895 at age 12 Gabrielle and her two sisters (Julia Berthe and Antoinette),
were sent to a catholic convent of the
Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Mary at the Abbaye d' Aubazine in Corrèze, France.
The nuns teached her sewing.
Chanel was able to find employment as a shop assistant and seamstress
in a drapers store on rue de l'Horlore Paris 8eme.
She also neede to earn her living beeing a cafe singer.
Her nickname "Coco" might be a deviation from "Cocotte",
in French an affective expression for a lovely girl or woman.
Also one of her songs was "Ko Ko Ri Ko"
and soon her audiance greeted her as Coco.
1909 Coco Chanel foundes her company
and opens a hat making store in Paris at 160 boulevard Malesherbes.
The capital is given to her by her lover Etienne Balsan,
a textile businessman and socialite.
1910 with the help of her boyfriend Arthur Boy Chapel,
Coco establishes Chanel Mode on 21 rue Cambon
1913 opening of the shop in Deauville just behind the Casino
1915 opening of a boutique and couture salon in Biarritz.
1916 Chanel suits appear in the American Vogue for the first time
1918 Coco Chanel meets the
Russian Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov in Biarritz.
Like other exiled aristocrats Dimitri, a direct cousin of the Zar Nicolas II,
tries to find a job in the fashion industry
and he is interested by Coco Chanel's activities.
1919 opening of a new larger Paris store on 31 rue Cambon (photo taken around 1960 by Douglas Kirkland).
1920 the Grand Duke introduces Coco Chanel
to the Russian / French perfumer Ernest Beaux in Cannes.
1920 Coco Chanel
is thinking about a Monogram matching her initials CC.
There are different theories about the birth of the Logo.
1921 the first version of Chanel N°5 comes alive,
Chanel offers small samples to her Boutique clients.
Her clients love the perfume but Coco Chanel doesn't have the knowhow
to produce larger quantities. The perfume comes in a bottle designed
by Coco Chanel including for the first time the iconic double C logo.
1924 at the racetracks of Longchamps Coco Chanel is introduced
to Pierre Wertheimer by Theophile Bader.
Pierre and his brother Paul Wertheimer
own of the perfume house Bourgeois,
Theophile Bader is the founder of the Galeries Lafayette Department store.
1924 is established "Parfums Chanel".
Ernest Beaux brews the perfume,
one of the first ones to mix natural and artificial essences.
Coco Chanel designes the bottle,
the octagonal cap recalls the geometry and proportions of the place Vendôme.
The jewish businessman, Pierre Wertheimer provides the financing and
70% interest in the Chanel Perfume business.
20 % are hold by Théophile Bader.
Coco Chanel licenses her name and expertise for 10%.
Parfums Chanel are a different company seperate from the fashion house.
Later the terms of the agreement create major conflicts between Coco Chanel and Wertheimer, as Coco feels having blindly signed an unfair deal.
Chanel N°5 becomes a world success.
Until today it is the best selling perfume worldwide.
Later the Perfume is represented in many iconic commercials.
1925 Coco Chanel meets the Duke of Westminster in Monte Carlo.
They fall in live and their relation lasts for about 10 years.
The Duke spoils Mademoiselle Chanel with valuable jewellry and other presents,
but in what concerns an eventual marriage Coco Chanel made the famous quote: "There are many Duchesses of Westminster but only one Coco Chanel".
In the sentimental life of the Duke she is succeded by Aimée de Heeren.
1926 invention of the little black dress
praised by Vogue as "Chanel's Ford"
marketability and practicality.
1928 construction of the Villa La Pausa near Monaco.
Vintage Video of Chanel Fashion shows during the 1930s
1934 CC attends the Bal du Second Empire given by Prince de Faucigny-Lucinge
1935 CC attends the Grand Siècle costume Ball given by Count Etienne de Beaumont
1937 Coco Chanel is wealthy enough to move to the Hotel Ritz.
The Hotel and the place Vendome become a source of inspiration for her.
4,000 people work for Chanel.
1939 July 1 Coco Chanel and Aimee de Heeren go to the Circus Ball by Lady Mendl.
1939 September Chanel closes her shops after the declaration of World War II,
31 rue Cambon remains open for accessories & perfumes
1940 Pierre Wertheimer emigrates to New York.
Without success Coco Chanel used her contacts with the German occupation forces
to get hold of the Wertheimer interests in her perfumes.
Anticipating Nazi mandates against Jews, he turns over his interests in Chanel
to Félix Amiot and thus avoids beeing seized.
1945-1953 Coco Chanel exiles to Lausanne.
1947 Coco Chanel and Pierre Wertheimer meet and make peace
over their never ending fights around the distribution of the Perfume revenues.
february 5 Comeback to Paris and reopening of the fashion house
with financial backing of her old "business partner"
and former "worst ennemy" Pierre Wertheimer.
Coco Chanel is 71 years old .... and at this age sucessful "comebacks" are rare.
One day when asked why did you return ?
Coco answered "one night at diner Christian Dior said
a women could never be a creat couturier".
1955 Marilyn Monroe photo by Ed Feigersh
1955 Suzy Parker becoes the new Chanel model.
Moovie stars Liz Taylor, Grace Kelly and Rita Hayworth adopt Chanel dresses.
1955 Launch of the perfume "Pour Monsieur"
1957 Coco Chanel receives the Neiman Marcus Fashion award
1957 / 1959 Coco Chanel with her models
1959 Chanel enters MoMA, the New York Museum of Modern Art.
1962 Romy Schneider wears Chanel in a Luchino Visconti moovie.
1965 Pierre Wertheimer dies
and his son Jacques
takes control of the company.
Jacques Wertheimer is more know for his horse breeding
activities that for his work for Chanel.
1966 Coco Chanel receiving Marie Helène et Nadine de Rothschild at home.
1968 Catherine Deneuve becomes the new face for the Chanel N°5 ads.
1970 Launch of Chanel N°19, the "19" stands for Coco's birthday.
1970 interview with Jacques Chazot
1971 January 10 Coco Chanel dies at the Ritz.
The funeral is the the Madeleine Church in Paris.
Chanel's favorite models occupy the front row seat at la Madeleine.
Coco is buried in the Bois-de-Vaux cemetery in Lausanne.
Several movies are made about her life.
"Coco before Chanel" is made in 2009,
the french actress
Audrey Tautou plays Coco Chanel.
You can read the article Secret Life of Chanel by Justine Picardy from the Sunday Telegraph.
1974 Alain Wertheimer (son of Jacques and grandson of Pierre)
takes control of the company at age 25.
He succedes to revitalize the companies aging image.
1978 Jacques Polge becomes the third artisitic director of Chanel Perfumes
1981 launch of the perfume Antaeus.
1981 opening of the Chanel store at SN3 in Antwerp.
1982 opening of the Chanel store in Brussels.
1983 Karl Lagerfeld is hired as chief designer.
Lagerfeld was previously working for Fendi and Cloe.
1983 - 1989 Ines de la Fressange is the Chanel Top model with an exclusivity contract.
The contact breaks when Ines de la Fressagne become the new "Marianne"
1984 launch of the perfume Coco
Commercial with Vanessa Paradis directed by Jean Paul Goud
Over 40 Chanel Boutiques are opend during the 1980s
1989 December opening ot the Chanel store in Zuerich
1990 launch of the perfume Egoiste.
1993 opening of the Chanel store in Duesseldorf.
1996 launch of the frangrance Allure (Perfumer Jacques Polge)
1996 August 26 registration of the Chanel.com
acquisition of the gunmaker Holland & Holland
1996 opening of the New York Boutique on 57th street
2001 launch of the perfume Coco Mademoiselle
2001 acquisition of the watchmaker Bell & Ross
2002 launch of the perfume Chance
2005 December opening ot the Chanel store in Amsterdam.
2007 December opening ot the Chanel store in Florence
2011 Lauch of the Chanel Cruise Collection
30 min Short Moovie "The Tale of a Fairy"
played at Villa Eilenroc and other places on the côte d'Azur
may 9 2011 at the Hotel du Cap. The Tale of a Fairy
was imagined written and directed by Karl Lagerfeld.
There might be some inspriation from the filmmaker Anna Albelo.
The main actresses are Anna Mouglalis,
Kristen Mcmenamy, Freja Beha
with minor rols by Baptiste Giabiconi, Jake Davies, Oriol Elcacho,
Sébastien Jondeau and Brad Koenig.
Chanel fashion shoots at the Hotel du Cap
2012 March 1 Commercials with Danny Fuller
around the fragrance Allure Sport Homme Extreme,
films directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
2012 Mars 6 opening of the Chanel Boutique au 51 avenue Montaigne in Paris.
2012 May Versailles Cruise.
2012 November 2 opening ot the Chanel store in Luxembourg.
2012 nov 10 - nov 25 Expo The Little Back Dress au Grand Palais in Paris
with 113 Lagerfeld photographies
Origin of Chanel Name & Logos & Internet Domains
Chanel is the family name of company founder Coco Chanel.
Coco or Gabrielle Chanel inherited the name from her father Albert Chanel,
a poor itinerant street vendor.
CC are the initials of her name "C"oco "C"hanel.
The Chanel logo including the CC symbol was designed in 1921
by Coco Chanel herself. The Logo remained unchanged ever since.
The "double, overlapping C facing outward has become
a World symbol
synonymous with luxury, fashion and style.
It is one of the world's very well know
fashion logo ever created.
The 6 Letter Internet Domain Chanel.com is registered august 26 1996
which is a relatively early date, in particular for a fashion (and not technology) company.
The Chanel.com domain is hold in the name of Chanel Inc New York (not Paris).
Chanel USA owns a portfolio of approximately 4856 internet domains.
But infortunately time barriers have made it impossible for Coco Chanel
to run into Steve Jobs somewhere in the lobby of the Ritz.
She would probably have tried to hire him on the spot as a model
for her next Allure Commercial.
Who knows Steve might have been amused ...,
what is sure, talking to him,
Coco Chanel would have made the necessary not to miss
the registration or even the 2 later sales
of her iconic CC initials for the Internet age:
the legendary 2 Letter Domain CC.com.
(Technology savvy Steve Jobs never missed to register
or to buy any important domain for Apple) The Internet People from Chanel (like the ones from Cartier) were much less alert then the fashion designers.
Until 1997 they had the possibility - just like anybody else - to register CC.com for a couple of Dollars.
The domain CC.com was finally registered june 26 1997 by Comclear.
In 1997 the Riz, like many other Hotels in France, had no working Internet connection for clients
and due to the popularity of the Minitel
France was very behind in understanding the Internet.
This is the reason why a technology oriented company in the United States became the first owner of the CC.com domain
The same year it was sold to
Tim Cawford from Crawford Consulting,
a small Internet consultent firm from the US.
But what is surprising is that
in 2001 when everybody around the World knew that the internet was there
Tim Cawford, the first owner of CC.com
was selling the domain
not to Chanel
but to someone else
the US Media firm Clear Chanel (the amount of the transaction has not been published).
In 2003 the ownership of CC.com changed again.
CC.com became the porperty of Viacom International, 1515 Brodway, New York.
Viacom runs Comedy Central, a popular US entertainement site.
CC.com is presently redirected to Comedy Central.
After the transaction the logo of Comedy Central has changed to become more "CC" looking.
It might be that
Coco Chanel's CC has been of inspiration.
What is sure is that "CC" (Coco Chanel) the designer of the famous and legendary "CC" (logo)
might not be so happy
to see that she has created one of the World's most iconic and valuable logos
and that some employees in her later communication department never managed to get the "CC.com" Internet Address.
At least "Chanel" is not a super long name, only 5 letters ...
Facts & Figures about Chanel today
The current head stylist is Karl Lagerfeld since 1983.
The CEO is Ms. Maureen Chiquet since 2007.
Today the company operates 300 fashion boutiques around the World,
the most famous one beeing the shop on rue Cambon facing the Hotel Ritz.
The company employs 1270 people.
Chanel is privately owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer,
grandsons of Coco Chanel's business partner Pierre Wertheimer.
Many high profile fashion icons like
Maryline Monroe, Lady Gaga, Nicole Kidman,
Baronne Karin von Oppenheim + granddaughter
Countess Caroline von Krockow Lahame,
Princess Rebecca von Solms + secretary Maria Lordt, Claudia Schiffer,
Ann Getty, Sarita Gainza, Yvette Labrousse / the Begum Aga Khan III,
Brigitte Sitbon (financial adviser), Nathalie Gütermann,
Melanie Leuthenmayr / Baronne von Hoenning Lobkowicz,
Audrey Tautou, Grace Kelly / Princess of Monaco, Ana Maria Indio da Costa,
Countess Amicie von Thurn und Vasassina, Marella Agnell / Princess Caracciolio,
Anne Jacqueline Schraepler,
Kristen Mcmenamy, Joan Linclau,
Begogna Angulo, Baronne Terry von Pantz / Avon
Dutchess Rixa von Oldenburg + grandmother Crown Princess of Prussia / Grand Duchess Kira of Russia,
Sabine Benhamou, Donata Reisig,
Susan Wanamaker Leas, Nika Solomon, Vanessa Paradis, Countess Jacqueline de Ribes,
Doris Duke, Babe Paley / Barbara Cushing,
Laure de Vaugiraud,
Rose Kennedy + granddaughter Caroline, Aimee de Heeren, Vera and Luiza Pretyman
or the Duchess of Windsor
/ Wallis Simpson
are or were known to dress Chanel.