Chanel is a well-known, advanced fashion brand. It is infamous for its clothing, accessory and cosmetic lines. The brand is notorious for its introduction of the “Little Black Dress”, the Chanel No. 5 perfume and the Chanel Suit to the fashion world.
Chanel is a privately owned company by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer and therefore does not release any statistics or figure earnings. However, in May 2016, Chanel was valued at $7.2 billion, placing them 80th on Forbes’s World’s Most Valuable Brands. A significant proportion of Chanel’s earnings are generated from the sales of accessories, make up and from No.5 perfume which was created by Coco Chanel herself in 1921.
Coco Chanel led the way in women’s fashion. Although her introduction of the LBD and pantsuit to the fashion world was ground-breaking, Coco once declared that fashion was ‘not something that exists in dresses only’. This leads us on to the wonder of accessories.
Chanel’s accessory line is infinite. Coco Chanel believed that the more accessories you have, the better you look. She adored all kind of accessories; handbags, jewellery, sunglasses, the lot!
Coco Chanel was rarely seen without jewellery, whether it be piles of pearls, chains or diamonds. She wore all kinds, for all occasions. She sternly believed that women should properly accessorise every individual outfit rather than sticking to a few simple all round pieces. She claimed that ‘Costume jewellery is not made to give women an aura of wealth, but to make them beautiful’. Chanel paved the way for costume jewellery, finding it a commonplace in every woman’s wardrobe. Her jewellery has remained relevant through the years as some of her vintage pieces are still in fashion.
The 2.55 Chanel handbag is an iconic, timeless piece. The original 2.55 bag was issued in February 1955 and a further two re-issues have been released since then in 1983 and 2005.
Each feature belonging to the original 2.55 has a story to tell. The burgundy colour of the inside lining represented the colour of the uniforms from the convent in which Coco grew up. The zippered inside compartment placed below the front of the flap is the place in which Coco hid her love letters. The compartment on the outside of the bag at the back was where she supposedly stashed her extra money. The chain of the shoulder strap again relates to Coco’s time in the convent. The chain is said to be similar to the convent’s caretaker’s chain on which he secured his keys. Finally, the front lock on the original 2.55 bag is different to the classic double CC logo. The logo is called the ‘Mademoiselle Lock’ because Coco never married.
Many refer to the pricey bag as an investment piece. Many use the term ‘investment piece’ to justify the expensive price tag. It makes themselves feel better about splashing out on that big spend. Chanel products are made to extremely high standards. They involve a high level of craftsmanship and therefore tend to last much longer that standard high street equivalents. So, maybe ‘investment piece’ is the right terminology after all!
It seems that jewellery to Coco Chanel was just important as sunglasses are to Chanel’s current head designer Karl Lagerfeld. He is very rarely spotted without his sunglasses, claiming that ‘sunglasses are like eyeshadow. They make everything look younger and pretty’.
Chanel first introduced a line of sunglasses in 1999 and also offers fashionable prescription glasses. Chanel Sunglasses are like no other and offer a distinct style. The brand boasts a wide selection of sunglasses and even Chanel Prescription Glasses, all in a range of different styles and colours. However, Chanel’s go to was a classic style with a dramatic twist. Despite offering a range of colours, Chanel will always be famous for its monochrome colour.
Coco Chanel believed that accessories were the finishing touch to any outfit. A wide range of accessories completes every woman’s wardrobe, enabling them to add a special something to every individual outfit. Although Chanel adored all kind of accessories, she believed moderation was key. She advised that “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”