As part of Chanel’s ongoing series of short films, Inside Chanel, the brand explores the history of Chanel, the Chanel woman, and the secrets of the house’s manufacturing. Today the house revealed Chapter 25, which encompasses Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and her love of America.
After being welcomed to New York in 1931 and inducted into the Hall of Fame that same year, Chanel turned stateside once she returned to fashion in 1954 (France reportedly didn’t offer the designer the same warm welcome). Chanel changed the landscape of fashion during a time when women slowly began gaining more agency. Her iconic tweed suits and use of jersey fabric when no one else was using it made her a maverick in French fashion. During Chanel’s first trip to the U.S., she gave a series of interviews at the Hotel Pierre. She also met Hollywood actress Greta Garbo, whom she subsequently dressed in Chanel. A year later, Marilyn Monroe famously said that she wore nothing to bed besides a few drops of Chanel N°5.
The film charts Chanel’s meteoric rise in the U.S., such as when she was awarded the Neiman Marcus Fashion World, known as the “Oscar of Fashion,” in Dallas in 1957, making the designer a longtime household name. She also became one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, going on to design clothing for Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Jackie Kennedy, Jane Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, and Jean Seberg. When asked about her affinity for the country, Chanel once said, “It’s where I made my fortune.”