The Chanel logo was created in 1925 by Gabrielle Chanel, or most commonly known as Coco Chanel. The logo had dominated the designs and packing of all Chanel products and can also be seen on bags, shoes and jewellery and is a huge part of the brands image.
Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was born on the 19th of August, 1883, in Saumur, France and would later be known as Coco Chanel. In contrast to her adult life, she didn’t grow up in the wealth and glamour that she would become known for. Instead she grew up in an orphanage and raised by nuns after her mother died. As a child the nuns taught her how to sew, which would become a valuable lesson for her. By the time she turned twenty, Chanel had moved to Paris and had moved up the social ladder and had made friends with some very wealthy people. It was then when she opened her first store in 1910 with the help her friend Arthur Chapel and began selling hats. She then opened two other stores in France as her success grew and started to sell her own clothing designs. Her first glimpse of success was when she fashioned a dress out of and old jersey on a chilly morning in France. When asked where she got the dress by passers-by, Chanel offered to make one for them. Chanel is known to have said “My fortune is built on that old jersey that I’d put on because it was cold in Deauville.” Her business then took off and she went on to design the Chanel logo, create the iconic Chanel number five and the “little black dress”. Chanel had created a huge fashion house by the mid 1920s, one of which is still just as successful today.
Chanel’s designs were often elegant, luxurious and often inspired by men’s wear. Chanel was one of the first designers to introduce less restricting clothes for women. As many of the upper classes began to feel the effects of the first world war, Chanel’s designs grew more popular due to the boxy lines and the shorter skirts, which allowed them to do the activities that the war made necessary.
The iconic Chanel suit was introduced in 1925 and instantly became a massive success. With a collarless jacket and form fitting skirt, the design was revolutionary at the time and introduced women to a new kind of fashion. The original design is still used in some of channels designs today.
The little black dress was another design that changed the fashion world as we know it today. Before channels design, black was a colour only worn for funerals and was often associated with morning. The creation of the first line of jewellery by Chanellv was also an instant success, especially the faux Pearls which Harpers Bazaar called “one of the most revolutionary designs of our time”. Almost a century later both of these original are designs are still used by the fashion house.
The Chanel logo features two bold interlocking “c”s that are both black and stand for the founders name and was also designed by Coco Chanel herself, forever connecting her to the brand . The idea for the design allegedly came from the orphanage where Chanel grew up, as it is said that the shape of the windows look like the Chanel logo. The black colour of the logo represents the elegance and sophistication that Chanel stands for. The simplicity if the logo adds luxury and also adds to Chanel’s philosophy of “less is more”. Since it was designed in 1925 it has never changed and has remained the timeless design that you can see today.
The font used is simple, minimalist and reflects the designs that are created by Chanel. This font can be seen on almost every piece of packing created by the fashion house, especially the classic channel number five perfume which is sold on average every fifty seconds. The logo is considered to be the reason for the brands massive success as it is one of the most recognisable logos in the fashion business. The impact that it has had on the brands reputation and success shows how influential the design is.
Other high fashion brands such as Dior and Gucci have similar black, simplistic logos but Chanel was one of the first to design her logo in such a way. In the wake of Coco’s death, Chanel’s fortunes fell briefly. Despite the continuing high sales of the classics like the perfume Chanel №5, Chanel was largely considered obsolete by the late 1970s. In 1983 one of the owners of Chanel brought in Karl Lagerfeld to reinvigorate the spirit that was formerly the iconic Chanel. The extravagant designer did exactly that, removing the brand’s traditional designs in favour of a flashy aesthetic that made Chanel stand out compared to the demure designs of Prada.
Today Chanel has made millions in revenue and continues to be a massive fashion house around the world. In 2005 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held an exhibition featuring some of channels designs and jewellery. Although Channels designs are regarded as some of the best designs in modern fashion, the fashion house cannot credit all its success on the designs alone. The success of the brand is also down to the marking if the products and the logo which is displayed proudly on almost every item, giving the brand a face and identity.