When we discuss the realm of luxury and fashion, Chanel instantly rings a bell. An iconic brand with an illustrious past, Chanel has a grand reputation that needs no introduction. Yet, there are absorbing facts and stories our minds aren’t versed with. This article intends to unveil some intriguing facts and hidden trivia about this prestigious name in couture. Here are 10 things you might not know about Chanel.

1. Coco Chanel wasn’t the designer’s real name

The name “Coco Chanel” is synonymous with ultimate luxury and style, yet, it was not her real name. She was born as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883. The pseudonym “Coco” has an interesting backstory. Young Chanel reportedly received this nickname when she was working as a singer and her two signature songs were “Ko Ko Ri Ko” and “Qui qu’a vu Coco”. Eventually, she chose Coco as her stage name and retained it throughout her life, eventually becoming a global phenomenon.

Coco led a fascinating life, rising from a humble background to the pinnacle of high fashion. Her early life experiences greatly influenced her fashion sense, leading her to establish a brand that became a symbol of elegance and sophistication.

2. The brand was financed by her lover

Behind Chanel’s inception, lies the influential role of her lover at that time, Arthur “Boy” Capel. Boy Capel, a wealthy English businessman, provided the funds necessary for Coco to establish her first stores in Paris. Their passionate relationship not only played a significant role in Chanel’s business but also influenced many of her designs.

Even after their relationship ended, Capel continued to support the Chanel brand financially. His tragic death in a car accident marked a turning point in Coco’s life, inspiring some of her most iconic designs.

3. Chanel No. 5 – The iconic perfume

Perhaps Chanel’s most well-known product is the classic perfume, Chanel No. 5. This perfume was revolutionary in more ways than one. It’s one of the first perfumes to use aldehydes – synthetic components that add depth and complexity to a fragrance. Coco Chanel wanted a scent that would smell clean and fresh, something that would cling to its wearer.

Even the name ‘No. 5’ has a backstory to it. Coco Chanel chose this name simply because five was her lucky number. Today, a bottle of Chanel No. 5 is sold every 30 seconds, marking it one of the best-selling perfumes in the world.

4. Chanel’s little black dress

Coco Chanel famously said, “Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all.” With this, she introduced the concept of the Little Black Dress (LBD). The little black dress revolutionized fashion, it was versatile, accessible, and could be worn for any occasion.

When Vogue featured the dress in 1926 comparing its universality to that of a Ford car model, it quickly gained popularity and became an essential item in every woman’s wardrobe.

5. The revolutionary suit

The Chanel suit is another one of Coco Chanel’s revolutionary inventions. Prior to the 1920s, women primarily wore dresses. Chanel’s design of a boxy jacket and skirt ensemble was a radical departure from existing norms, giving women more freedom and movement. The jacket, made of bouclé fabric, and the straight-line skirt were made to be easily interchangeable among various outfits.

Today, the Chanel suit is still considered a symbol of chic elegance and remains a staple in wardrobes of women around the globe.

6. Chanel’s distinctive logo

One of the most recognizable features of the brand is its distinctive interlocking ‘C’ logo. The ‘CC’ logo, representing Coco Chanel, was designed by Coco herself and was introduced in the 1920s. The logo has remained virtually unchanged since it was first introduced, testament to the enduring influence and appeal of the Chanel brand.

Interestingly, despite the logo’s simplicity, it’s often counterfeited. It’s important to know genuine Chanel products have their logo etched onto the hardware with a high level of attention to detail.

7. The 2.55 Flap Bag’s design

In our countdown of the top ten things you didn’t know about Chanel, the famous 2.55 Flap Bag cannot be overlooked. Its unique design was born of practicality. Coco Chanel was tired of clutching bags in her hands so she designed a bag with thin straps inspired by soldier’s packs.

The name 2.55 is derived from the date of the bag’s creation – February 1955. Over the years, this bag has gained an iconic status and continues to be one of the most popular bags from the house of Chanel.

8. Coco Chanel’s comeback

In 1939, Coco Chanel decided to close her shop due to the onset of World War II. However, she made a comeback in the fashion industry at the age of 71 in 1954. She reopened her couture house and introduced new designs, notably the revamped version of the Chanel suit and the 2.55 Flap Bag.

In the US, she faced initial criticism from the press, but her designs were quickly adopted by clients and celebrities, putting her back at the top of the fashion industry.

9. The Wertheimer family controls Chanel

Coco Chanel had partnered with Pierre Wertheimer in the 1920s to expand the production and distribution of Chanel No. 5. After years of legal disputes over profits and ownership, it was agreed that the Wertheimer family owns 70% of the Chanel brand.

Today, Chanel continues under the ownership of the Wertheimer family, with Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, as the current owners.

10. The highest price for a Chanel product

Chanel’s products are renowned for their majestic prices. The highest-ever price fetched by a Chanel accessory was for its ‘Diamond Forever’ bag, which costs a whopping $261,000! Exuding supreme luxury, it features 334 diamonds totaling 3.56 carats, set in 18-carat white gold. Only thirteen of these bags were ever made, symbolizing a height of luxury that few pieces can match.

After Coco Chanel’s death in 1971, the company continued to distinguish itself in the world of high fashion, successfully carrying on Coco’s legacy of timeless elegance and pioneering spirit.

Hopefully, these facts have given you a glimpse into the brand’s illustrious past and its incredible journey from its humble beginnings to becoming one of the world’s most iconic luxury fashion brands. To explore more about the brand, you can visit their official website Chanel, or read more about Coco Chanel’s life and work by visiting her Wikipedia page.