Chanel is one of today’s best known and most highly sought-after fashion brands, and has been one practically since it was founded by Coco (Gabrielle) Chanel in 1909.
Her big break hit when she opened a small shop in Paris in 1910 where she sold her hats. Chanel was trendsetting before there were trends. Coco passed in 1971, but the brand continued, even launching their first ready-to-wear collection in 1978. Yet without a lead designer to be the face of the brand, the house struggled to maintain its enchanting reputation for luxury. That is, until Karl Lagerfeld joined in 1983 to revive it to its elite status, which he did with added glamour and sexiness.
Today, Chanel stands out in just about every category—couture, ready-to-wear, accessories, jewelry, shoes. What began as a no-nonsense approach to fashion, designed to let women be comfortable while looking dignified, has been translated into classic, tailored style, especially in ready-to-wear.