How Has Chanel Changed Over the Years?

chanel change over the years

A luxury brand that boasts a recognizable logo and an even more famous founder, Chanel has enjoyed immense success since its founding in 1910. Starting life as a hat shop, the Chanel boutique made a name for itself as both fashion-forward and innovative thanks to its pioneering leadership from founder Coco Chanel, whose creativity brought to life the little black dress, the functional shoulder bag, and the kinds of accessories that presented women with the storage and style they both wanted and needed.

When you look at the history of Chanel as a brand, it’s not hard to see how the brand has remained relevant among buyers from all walks of life, with the exclusive nature of every new release and the impeccable craftsmanship of each new model ensuring that demand is always, consistently high. What evolution has the brand seen throughout its history, and how has innovation continued to drive Chanel forward?

The Early Years and How Chanel Grew Its Luxury Status

One of the biggest driving forces of success for the Chanel brand has been creativity which not only thrives under new fashionable trends but spearheads and creates those trends in the first place. 

One only needs to look at the Chanel 2.55 handbag to see how influential Coco Chanel was in the world of accessories and luxury goods. Launching the range in 1955 as a means for women to carry a bag around with them and still enjoy two free hands to complete other tasks and – most prominently – to carry champagne around at a party. Designed with her own needs in mind, with the 2.55 Chanel carved out a space for herself and for her brand within both the luxury and everyday market, with the 2.55 continuing to be one of the most popular bags produced by Chanel. 

Other successful launches that were born in the early days of Chanel, when the brand was still managed by Coco Chanel herself, include the iconic Chanel No.5 perfume and the little black dress as a fashion staple – all of which contributed towards Chanel being recognized among high society as a favored manufacturer of luxury goods and accessories for the elite. 

Venice Sofa by Koket

How Design Concepts Have Changed Over the Years

When Coco Chanel died in 1971, the brand had to find a new pioneer and creative to lead the way forward – with Karl Lagerfeld stepping into the helm in 1983.

This move sparked a return to Chanel’s earliest success, with Lagerfeld striving to restore the glory of former collections and success stories – such as the haute couture collection and the ready-to-wear pieces. Prior to the appointment of Lagerfeld, it was believed by many that Chanel was somewhat of an old-school brand stuck in the past – however, Lagerfeld embraced the challenge and set about updating Chanel and giving it a place among modern luxury brands. 

Designer handbags and luxury accessories were also improved upon and developed by Karl Lagerfeld’s team, with one of the most notable changes integrating his new double-C logo into the clasp of some of Chanel’s most iconic handbags and producing jewelry with this motif as part and parcel of the design. 

In short, the past few decades have seen Chanel benefit from the kind of reinvention which builds upon and improves – rather than replaces – the design concepts and innovations which made Chanel a coveted brand in the first place. You only have to look at how many fashion trends were spearheaded by Chanel to understand that this isn’t just a brand but a powerhouse in the world of fashion – with the modern shifts only serving to enhance this. 

Chanel on Today’s Market

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find any Chanel release which doesn’t boast a waiting list and a ton of interest in terms of demand. Every new handbag that is released is sold instantly, with the resale market boasting incredible uplift in value as soon as a brand new Chanel bag or luxury piece has left the retailer. 

All in all, the success of Chanel lies in not only the way it has changed and adapted over the years but the way it bridges the present and future with the past – building on and enhancing the traditions which laid the foundations for such incredible, unrivaled success. 

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