Last week we began to tell the incredible story of Coco Chanel and the birth of one of the most recognized luxury brands in the world. Today we continue taking up the story in the 30s, when Chanel crossed the ocean to work with Hollywood stars.
Chanel in Hollywood
In 1931, Chanel met Samuel Goldwyn, owner of the Goldwin Mayer Metro. Goldwyn would eventually hire Chanel to design costumes for his film company. Despite she traveled twice a year to Hollywood and was being paid an exorbitant salary, she did not like the work. She saw that her fashion designs were not translated well on the cinema screen. Chanel continued to design costumes for several French films, but these projects were a temporary job and her fashion design business remained her main focus.
World War Two
In 1935, the House of Chanel had already become a very prosperous business that employed 4,000 people. But with the start of World War II, Chanel closed several of its stores and 3,000 employees were dismissed during the general labor strike.
Back on track
In 1945, after the end of World War II, Chanel decided to revive her professional career. The world of fashion had changed drastically and the industry was dominated by men, such as Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga. But once again, Chanel thought that the 1940s styles of padded jackets and fitted waist skirt and dresses were not practical for women. She was inspired to design again.
In 1954, Chanel launched her new fashion line with some of its most iconic models: the classic two-piece Chanel suits made in tweed (very popular today).
The birth of the 2.55
One of his most recognized creations in the world of luxury handbags was the 2.55 model. Although Coco had previously designed handbags, this model was a revolted. It included a chain strap that allowed women to carry the bag hanging over their shoulders, freeing the hands. It was launched in 1955, from where it got its name 2.55.
This bag was also the result of rumors, as it included a zippered pocket concealed inside the lapel. It was said that it was where Coco kept the love letters and that the burgundy lining were an idea from the uniforms used in the school of her convent. The 2.55 was just another innovation that marked the beginning of a new way of modern dressing and revived the brand after a fall in interest due to the “new appearance” of Christian Dior.
Coco passes, Chanel remains
After a variety of lovers and businesses, Chanel died at the Hotel Ritz Paris in 1971. More than a decade after his death, in 1983, the designer Karl Lagerfeld took over as creative director of the brand and continues to oversee the creative direction of the brand. One of his innovations was the Reissue model, an update of the mythical 2.55. He added the iconic CC closure for which the brand is so well known today.
The creation of the Métiers d’Arts
Chanel was a big fan of quality products and craftsmanship. In 2002, the French maison decided to create on her behalf the heritage of Métiers d’Arts, which conserves the craftsmanship and manufacturing fashion skills. The collections of Métiers d’Arts shows the work of the workshops and keeps the heritage alive.
The “Boy” bag one of the latest success of the house
One of the most successful creations of the house was the Boy bag. This bag was named after Boy Capel, the lover who believed in Coco’s talent and helped her start her stylistic empire. However, the Tomboyish style of Coco and the love of men’s fashion also played an important role in the name. It is a pretty avant-garde bag and perfect for the modern woman.
The current Chanel bags brand style has been possible thanks to the striking new life that Lagerfeld gave to the brand. Today Chanel remains one of the most sought-after brands in the history of fashion due to Lagerfeld’s ability to remain the true charm of the independent woman that was the basis of the brand. But at the same time, infusing a freshness that makes each sample and collection are unique.
This week, while we were writing this article, designer Karl Lagerfeld has passed away. From CBL Bags we want to pay tribute to him for his great contribution to the fashion world and we hope that his successor in the house Chanel will continue with the great work that Lagerfeld carried out for more than 20 years working for the brand.