Coco Chanel: From Taboo to Fashion Icon

Gabrielle Chanel was born in Saumur France on August 19, 1883 to a quaint family. At just the age of 21, Chanel opened her first shop in Paris. She began creating hats under the name “Chanel Modes,” and was favored by a majority of famous actresses due to the simple, elegant styles.   Three years after her grand opening, she introduced sportswear to her boutique. Chanel hated the current women’s fashion, she saw it as too uncomfortable and unnatural. Women’s fashion consisted of various items such as corsets to reshape the natural womanly figure.   Due to the expense and lack of cloth material caused by the first World War, Chanel created her clothing out of the same material used to make men’s undergarments. To other designers, this was extremely taboo and very frowned upon, but to the upper class this was revolutionary. Women could now wear clothing that was no only comfortable, but extremely flattering to their shape.

1915: Chanel Opens Her First Couture House

Located in Biarritz, France, Chanel continues to grow as a designer. From the beginning of her career, Chanel designed clothing and accessories for the elite of France. This is something I personally find really interesting and very admirable- she knew her selfworth from the very beginning of her career and stuck to her guns.

1921: Chanel Expands Her Horizons

In 1921, Chanel branches out from fashion and enters the fragrance territory. Just like her clothing items, her fragrances sky rocketed in popularity.   In 1921, Chanel launched her first makeup line which proved to be equally as popular. With accessories, fragrances, clothing, and now makeup, Chanel is quickly reshaping all aspects of ladies fashion.
Chanel’s fame peaked in 1935 with over 4,000 workers, five boutiqutes, and styling all of Hollywood’s most well known figures. Ten years later, Chanel’s downfall begins due the second World War, which resulted in her losing four of her boutiques- including her couture house.

1954: The Second Fashion Revolution

Years after the loss of her four boutqiues, Chanel reopened her couture house at the age of 71. During the reopening, she also launched the ever so popular 2.55 Mademoiselle handbag. Chanel named this bag after it’s release date, February of 1955. This style remains to be her most popular and sought-after handbag.

1971: Death and Rebirth of Chanel

Sadly, on January 10th of the year 1971, Chanel passed away. She passed her legacy to fellow fashion-icon, Artistic Director Karl Lagerfeld. Since Coco Chanel’s passing, Chanel has launched their first watch collection (1987) as well as their first fine jewelry collection (1993), as well as various other additions to other collections.

Overall, Gabrielle Chanel completely changed the definition of women’s fashion. She allowed women to flaunt their natural womanly shape, something all women should feel beautiful doing. Chanel has proven to be a role model to all designers, current and upcoming.


Here are some of the Chanel pieces that we currently have at our Gaithersburg boutique. FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY, these pieces are 10% off for our HOLY CHIC SALE! For any information on any of these pieces, feel free to give them a call at (301)926-7700! They would be more than happy to send you more photos of any of these pieces to help YOU find the perfect Chanel piece to add to your collection! Remember, we DO offer over-the-phone transactions, layaway, and shipping! Stay CHIC, xoxo