The Label: Chanel is one of today’s best known and highly sought-after fashion brands, and has been practically since it was founded by Coco (Gabrielle) Chanel in 1909. The luxury brand stands out in just about every categorycouture, ready-to-wear, accessories, jewelry, shoes, and fragrances. What began as a no-nonsense approach to fashion, designed to let women be comfortable while looking dignified, has been translated into classic, tailored style, especially in ready-to-wear, where the traditional tweed Chanel suit with a nipped-at-the-waist cardigan jacket remains one of the most popularand most copiedfashion staples. The iconic, quilted leather Chanel bag is perpetually popularand one of the most knocked-off accessories on Canal Street. Evening gowns tend to have an understated sex appeal and a bit of whimsy, and appear in luxurious fabrics with lots of embellishments.
The Look: Sexy, in a smart, classy, distinguished way.
The Designer Now: In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld revived the brand to must-have status with added glamour and sexiness. He’s been designing the collection ever since.
Other Designer Affiliations: Lagerfeld also has is own collection, purchased by Tommy Hilfiger in 2004, as well as a down market line for H&M stores launched the same year.
The Designers Then: In between Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, Philippe Guiborge designed Chanel.
Who Wears It: Everyone who’s anyone. Seventies Chanel No. 5 spokesmodel Catherine Deneuve, current Chanel No. 5 spokesmodel Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Aniston, and Scarlett Johansson, and lots of Park Avenue ladies.