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Brand History & Legacy

8 Ways Chanel Revolutionised The Fashion Industry

Chanel is more than just a luxury bag brand, it's a fashion revolution! Join us as we look at iconic facts about the equally iconic designer brand.

1) Shoulder Bags For Elite Women

Chanel 2.55 During the 1950s, it was de rigueur for elite women would carry their purses in their hands. However, Chanel debuted the classic 2.55  shoulder bag in February '55 (hence, the name ‘2.55’) making it stylish. The original featured a classy black, quilted leather material featuring the signature gold chain strap. Thereafter, it was considered glamorous for women of status to wear a bag over her shoulder. In fact, the classic Chanel flap bag is still considered a highly coveted designer bag today.

2) Chanel Normalised Pants for Women

Chanel History At the time, only women working jobs that are populated by men were socially acceptable to wear pants. But of course, Chanel made pants cool! This trend started when Chanel’s founder, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel wore pants on her trip to Venice. She refused to wear a long and uncomfortable skirt to ride her horse – so she opted for stylish, loose trousers. Coco was always known to push the envelope on fashion, and this was only the start of the daring luxury brand’s daring fashion journey.

3) No.5 For The Modern Woman

Chanel no.5 Perfume Chanel no.5 is a pleasing aroma that was originally intended to capture the complexity and sensuality of the modern woman. In fact, when Marilyn Monroe was asked what she wore to bed, she simply answered: “Just a few drops of Chanel No 5″

4) Chanel Invented the Women’s Suit

Chanel Blue Suit Chanel is known for blurring the lines between masculine and feminine fashion. In fact, Coco would often wear her lover’s clothes as she found menswear to be more comfortable than pre-war women’s fashion. At the time, women’s fashion consisted of restrictive corsets and long skirts during the Belle Époch era. However, the brand traded in uncomfortable outfits and created the famous Chanel tweed-suit with a military-inspired jacket, pad pockets and buttons that look like jewellery. In fact, Coco even made a request to be buried in her favourite beige and white tweed-suit decorated with her iconic gold buttons and braid.

5) Chanel Started as a Hat Business

Chanel Hat Before branching into perfumes, clothing and accessories, the luxury empire first started as a millinery boutique at 21 rue Cambon, Paris. The start was first known as ‘Chanel Modes’ and instantly become a coveted brand.

6) Chanel’s Lion Symbols

Fashion Runway You may have noticed the occasional lion symbol in some of the house’s pieces. This is because Coco’s Zodiac sign was Leo. The lion can be seen engraved on the bottoms of her tweed suits. “I’m a Leo and like him, I show my claws to protect myself", she said “But believe me I suffer more by clawing than being clawed.”

7) The Little Black Dress

One of the biggest blessings Chanel brought to the world is the classic, little black dress or ‘LBD’. It started when Vogue featured the design and compared it to the Ford Model T in terms of universality. The called it “The Chanel ‘Ford’—the frock that all the world will wear.” Although it’s considered almost basic now, the LBD was revolutionary as the colour was previously reserved for mourning and to express piety.

8) High Fashion Jersey

Jersey fashion In addition to liberating women’s silhouette with comfortable designs, Chanel also dared to experiment with different materials including jersey! At the time, jersey was only used for men’s underwear. However, the brand also got creative with this material as its inexpensive and drapes well, making it perfect for the brand’s early designs.

Where to Find Authentic Chanel Handbags in South Africa

If you’re as obsessed with Chanel as we are, then you’re going to love our online pre-owned and authentic designer collection! Shop Luxity’s fabulous Chanel handbags, shoes, jewellery and so much more.