Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chapter 1: Brief History & Mission Statement

    Chanel S.A (Société Anonyme) was founded in 1909 in Paris, France by designer Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. Chanel is a high fashion brand that focuses mainly on haute couture, ready-to-wear clothes, luxury products, and fashion accessories. Gabrielle Bonnier Chanel then later adapted the name "Coco Chanel". Gabrielle Chanel opened her first store in 1909, which was partly for hat making. With Chanel's devotion to design and Etienne Balsan, a gentleman who would finance her, the store would become a success. Which resulted in opening a second shop in Paris. Chanel accommodated to women’s style for sophistication and class in dress, with blouses and suits, pants and dresses, and jewelry that replaced the wealthy conservative clothes and accessories of 19th-century fashion. Modern day fashion, was what she introduced to the world.

     It was in 1921, that Coco Chanel had created the single most famous perfume in history, Chanel No. 5. Coco then later met Theophile Bader, founder of the French department store chain "Galeries Lafayette", who introduced Coco Chanel to Pierre Wertheimer. Chanel requested financial help and marketing advise for the fragrance she had developed.  Pierre Wertheimer admired Coco and wanted to help her succeed. It was two years after their introduction; he founded Parfums Chanel to produce and sell Chanel No. 5. Pierre Wertheimer funded the expenses, and gained 70 percent ownership share of the company. Coco Chanel had received 10 percent of the company and Bader received 20 percent. The perfume had made Chanel reach its long fulfilled fame in 1923. At the high success rate of Chanel No. 5, Coco Chanel started to expand and global launch a cosmetics line in 1924 and a range of skincare products in 1929. The first cosmetic's line included powders and lipsticks.

       The Chanel brand prospered until economic troubles and the epidemic of World War II causing Chanel to retire in 1939. Chanel was restored with a "legendary" fashion show in 1954, and in her 70s, she revitalized her trademark brand. Coco Chanel's fashion line was a successful outcome and had the gross effect of enhancing the perfume's image once again. After Chanel had returned back to Paris, the brand began to reinvent. The infamous Chanel logotype includes two interlocked, opposed letters-C, one faced left, and one faced right. The logo was given to Coco Chanel by the Château de Crémat, Nice, and was not listed as a trademark until the first Chanel shops were founded.
       In the late 1950s Wertheimer purchased back the 20 percent of Chanel that was previously owned by Bader. Therefore, when Coco Chanel died in 1971 at the age of 87, the Wertheimer family owned the entire Parfums Chanel operation, furthermore demanding all rights to the Chanel name and company as a whole. Today Chanel is owned by  In 1981, German designer Karl Lagerfeld became the the head designer for Chanel,which remains to this day. Chanel has an array of products and merchandise which have developed over the years, men (cologne) and women's perfume, skin care and makeup, accessories, and ultimately high fashion clothing. 

  It is said that Chanel's mission statement is "To be the Ultimate House of Luxury, defining style and creating desire, now and forever." The mission of Chanel's "look" has always portrayed an image of elegance, grace and style from the beginning of the brand up until to modern times. The visionary of the company is for fashion to be functional. The company was shaped on Coco Chanel's term of reshaping femininity for women of her time. Chanel continues after almost a century to inspire women with it's timeless taste of fashion. Coco Chanel is also famously quoted "fashion fades, but style remains."  Although a woman who has never owned a Chanel item is probable to have something influenced by the iconic brand. 

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