Brand Histories

1883 • Gabrielle CHANEL born in Saumur.

1909 • Gabriel Chanel opened a little milliners shop in Paris, at 160 boulevard Malesherbes.

1910 • Chanel relocated to 21rue Cambon, where she remained for more than 50 years, throughout her years of glorious success.

1913 • Opened second shop in Deauville.

1916 • Opens third shop in Biarritz.

1921 • The chemist Ernest Beaux offered her five formulae for perfumes, one of which became Chanel N° 5, still the top selling perfume in the world today.

1924 • Coco Chanel and Pierre Wertheimer, the director of BOURJOIS, developed the perfume business together.

1935 • She reached her most glorious peak, and all the crowned heads and celebrities of the time could be seen at rue Cambon. Coco CHANEL headed a workforce of over 4,000.

1939 • Right at the start of the war, CHANEL decided to close and lay off her staff. She tried, by various dubious manoeuvres, but failed to secure, the exclusive rights to every perfume that bore her name, in the absence of the Wertheimer family, in exile in the United States. Following her arrest, Mademoiselle CHANEL retired to Switzerland for the next few years.

1954 • Coco CHANEL re-opened in the rue Cambon and ceded the control of the couture house to Pierre Wertheimer, who forgave her, knowing that without Gabrielle Chanel, there would be no CHANEL.

1971 • Gabrielle CHANEL died on 10 January at the RITZ Hotel, where she lived near to the rue Cambon, leaving a veritable empire behind her.

THE CHANEL EMPIRE

1972 to 1983 • To ensure their succession, the Wertheimer family turned to the faithful workforce of the Coco Chanel ateliers, attached to the tradition of the great couture House.

1983 to 1996 • The Wertheimer turned to great names in couture-Karl LAGERFELD, formerly at BALMAIN and PATOU- and perfumery - Jacques POLGE, from GIVAUDAN ROURE.

CHANEL is undoubtedly the most fabulous business in the world of luxury today.

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