Fashion is branded. A taste of high-profile, savings of a middle-class and dream of anyone lower than middle-class. It says a lot about where we are and where we want to reach. Nobody likes to shop a local brand unless it’s Sarojini Nagar market. But do we know the rags to lavish riches story of these luxurious halts? I guess, No. Back in the early 20th century, fashion was different and impractical particularly, for women. A woman is supposed to don a garment that reflects her decorative nature, in the Hitler days and even beyond that. It was a tiresome job. Can you believe? It was no less than a job!
Pack yourself in a corset because that would carve out your curves flawlessly and there you go, now I know what is the shape of a woman. To breathe with your mouth might have been a tedious task. The body in the corset could hardly have any space to smile freely. Yet, they never complained or abandon it until Coco Chanel came into being. Yes, that was the revolutionary era for women. They could finally shed their corsets to grab something practical and womanly. The smile then was real. She took over the fashion completely and modified it into what she calls- “House Of Chanel”
Coco Chanel history itself is revolutionary. She belonged to a poorhouse in France. Her father left her in an orphanage at the age of 12 when her mother died. That was the beginning of her legendary brand. She started with hats. The art of sewing that she learnt from her aunt rendered her the fortune of making a name, independently. Those stylish hats sold like anything. She knew she was onto something. Later, with the help of her boyfriend, she managed some wealth to open another couture store that was a step ahead of her career.
She started making dresses. Corset-free dresses. She was the first woman to bring women into trousers. Style took a new form with her outfits. The little black dress was her idea. Everyone liked to dress in Coco Chanel. It became a big brand in France. She herself had connections with influential people of France that gave her business a push and she landed into the wardrobe of every house on the street. She also designed dresses for the nuns who looked after soldiers wounded during the first world war 1914. A dress that had space for keeping basic equipment required in nursing. But no compromise in the style.
She did not confine herself to dress but also launched an exclusive perfumed named after her lucky number 5 and her name- No 5 Chanel. The perfume was a big hit. And like her dresses, it met with the same fortune or rather more than that. The perfume alone brought a fortune of 9 million dollars annually. Coco Chanel transformed the outlook and even challenged her competitors big time. But everything that starts has to come to an end and so did Coco Chanel. No, not the legacy and fortune of the brand but she herself. She was still in working when she died in 1971.
But the sad part about the brand and her as an individual was, that she was alone. “I had millions but I was alone”- Coco Chanel. She could not find the true pleasure of living but only materialistic. She revolutionized fashion but she was found wanting still. Coco Chanel is one of the richest brands of the 21st century and it will continue to be. She paid a heavy price for working on her own terms, indeed.