Chanel, a global luxury goods company, was founded in France by Gabrielle Chanel at the beginning of the last century. The brand offers a broad range of luxury products encompassing ready-to-wear clothing, leather goods, accessories, eyewear, fragrances, cosmetics, skincare, fine jewelry, and watches with a network of 198 Chanel fashion boutiques worldwide including the legendary 31 rue Cambon address in Paris. Chanel is also renowned for its haute couture presented in Paris. Under the creative direction of Art Director Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel is dedicated more than ever to ultimate luxury, quality, and exceptional savoir faire.

Welcome to the 73rd edition of B.

“Why don’t you cover fashion brands?” Until a few years ago, we used to get this question from readers or friends frequently. Of course, we have covered various brands of bags, shoes, and sunglasses since the inaugural edition of Magazine B, but it was only recently that we started to study brands dedicated to “fashion” in the classical sense of “high fashion” brands who play pivotal roles in leading and setting trends for the fashion industry. We became even more acquainted with fashion when we introduced Maison Margiela and Acne Studios. But in this edition, we introduce Chanel, a brand that spans across an entire spectrum of fashion, cosmetics, and fine jewelry. We looked at the brand’s past, how it was conceived and evolved over the years, and we looked at how it currently influences all aspects of the luxury goods industry.

Nowadays, young consumers are attracted to small and distinct concept brands called “niche” brands or brands operating in the form of studios, collectives, and labs. In this context, what does it mean to talk about Chanel, the fashion empire? It is interesting to note that Gabrielle Chanel was a rebel who broke all the rules and conventions when she created Chanel in the early 20th century. First and foremost, she was not a man but a woman who designed for herself rather than for a muse. She brought modernity to fashion at a time when corsets and elaborate decorations were still all the rage. She was inspired by many things around her and used them as symbols, like the double C logo, or taking numbers like 5 and 2.55 to name her perfumes and handbags, showing how far ahead of her time she truly was.

Gabrielle Chanel was an experimentalist and revolutionist, but at the same time a romanticist. Here, “romance” goes beyond the relationship between lovers. Chanel could see objects around her with love: she drew energy from her childhood memories, the cities she visited, and new acquaintances, and then she infused this energy into her creations. Chanel as a brand is a world of tweeds, pearls, camellia, quilted patterns, lions, and many other impressionable images. In short, it is a world of symbols. This is the essence of Chanel, the legacy which Karl Lagerfeld reinterprets and reinvents as esteemed art director. Despite the stereotype of high fashion being elitist, Chanel exudes a feeling of optimistic energy thanks to the underlying spirit of founder Gabrielle Chanel—a spirit born from the creator’s sense of ownership over her own life.

I would be remiss to neglect mentioning how Chanel focuses on the monumental Métiers d’Art collections and recognizes these ventures as main drivers for future business. Through a series of acquisitions, Chanel has formed a coalition called Paraffection that regroups 26 maisons d’art and manufacturers specializing in crafting buttons, feathers, embroidery, goldsmithery, and hats. These ateliers are a rich source of savoir faire for Chanel, and this cultivated heritage is brought to life through the creativity of Karl Lagerfeld and the Creative Studio with each Chanel collection. Some of the artisans featured in the Chanel Métiers d’Art collections maintain a proper brand, and most of them also work with other luxury fashion houses to keep their creativity alive and remain competitive. What we witnessed, though, is that Chanel is still the same spirited pioneer it was 100 years ago, and it continues to forge new future paths for the whole industry. Chanel understands that a thriving ecosystem is vital to the success of individual brands. Through this edition, I’ve come to wonder if we’ve been overlooking the fact that the new, small brands that excite us today are flourishing in the house that heritage brands like Chanel built.

Eunsung Park
Content & Editorial Director

Intro


Editor’s Letter


Comments

Chanel’s powerful influence revealed in commentary by media and public figures


Quintessence

Definition of fashion and luxury by Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld


At the Grand Palais

Where Chanel showcases the magic of its collections in creative renditions of Paris


Opinion

Eric Pfrunder, Chanel Image Director


Runway

Chanel’s world view reflected in its Spring-Summer 2019 Ready-to-Wear Collection


People

Caroline de Maigret, Chanel global ambassador, and Michel Gaubert, sound designer


After the Show

Lily Taïeb, actress and model, and Soo Joo, Chanel brand ambassador and model, speak about the Chanel brand


People

Gee Eun, creative director of YG Entertainment, and Laure Hériard Dubreuil, founder of The Webster


Publication

Chanel’s heritage and world view represented in art publications


At Her Apartment

Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon apartment housing the eclectic objects that inspired Chanel collections


Opinion

Amanda Harlech, creative consultant


Personal Style

Five people speak about the joy of styling with Chanel items


Talks

Chanel described by Justine Picardie, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar UK, and Kwangho Shin, editor-in-chief of Vogue Korea


At Place Vendôme

The Watches and Fine Jewelry boutique and other workshops located at Place Vendôme


Grasse

Authenticity of Chanel perfumes preserved by Pégomas in Grasse and Olivier Polge, Chanel’s fourth generation perfumer


Opinion

Lucia Pica, Chanel Global Creative Makeup & Color Designer


At the Boutique & Spa

Chanel Le Marais Beauté, delivering the brand’s narrative, and Chanel au Ritz Paris Spa, maximizing the values suggested by Chanel skincare


Creation

Chanel’s classic items featured and reiterated


Craftsmanship

Four ateliers inheriting the tradition and heritage of the Chanel legacy


Brand Story

The life of Gabrielle Chanel, creator of a distinctive fashion empire, and the timeless brand’s influence throughout the years


Interviews

Virginie Viard, Chanel Creative Studio Director, and Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel Fashion


Archive

Themes introduced in collections over the past two years


Communications

Chanel’s traditional values communicated through new media


Monsieur

Iconic men who helped Chanel expand into the men’s category


References

Outro

PUBLICATION RIGHT

Publisher Suyong Joh
Executive Director Myungsoo Kim
Content & Editorial Director Eunsung Park
Senior Editor Heather Yoo
Editors Jaewoo Seo, Chanyong Park, Narae Kim, Jean Kim, Hyun Son, Sol Lyu
Photographer Miyeon Yoon
Assistant Editor Dongeun Han
Managing & Editing (English Edition) Jean Kim
Translation (English Edition) Seoul Selection
Correspondents Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Lena Shin (LA), Alex Seo (London), Sanghyeok Lee (Berlin), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)
Art Direction & Design Gyeongtak Kang
Assistant Design Yoonjung Jang
Marketing Hyunjoo Kim
Sales & Distribution Sanghoon Kim, Suyeon Kim
Publishing JOH

REFERENCES

Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life
Chanel
The Allure of Chanel
N°5 Culture Chanel
Culture Chanel: The Woman Who Reads
Jewelry by Chanel
Chanel Catwalk: The Complete Karl Lagerfeld Collections
The World According to Karl
Lagerfeld Confidential
Coco Before Chanel / Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky