Chanel, worth an estimated $1.5 billion, is one of the largest companies in the $4 billion global perfume industry. Chanel started its success with the introduction of Chanel No. 5 perfume, which continued to be a top selling perfume into the 1990s.
Cosmetics are the most accessible Chanel product, with counters in department stores across the world, including Harrods, Galeries Lafayette, Bergdorf Goodman, Hudson’s Bay, and David Jones, Wojooh, John Lewis as well as its own beauty boutiques.
The company has since diversified its offerings beyond perfumes to include designer clothes and accessories, which are sold in department stores and Chanel boutiques around the world. The company boasts a rich history rife with intrigue, wealth, and scandal.
The House of Chanel is known for the “little black dress”, the perfume No. 5 de Chanel, and the Chanel Suit. Chanel’s use of jersey fabric produced garments that were comfortable and affordable. Chanel revolutionized fashion — high fashion (haute couture) and everyday fashion — by replacing structured-silhouettes, based upon the corset and the bodice, with garments that were functional and at the same time flattering to the woman’s figure.
Chanel was considered a global leader in the fragrance industry and a top innovator in fragrance advertising and marketing in the 1990s. Chanel continued to spend more on advertising than almost any other perfume company and, as a result, was reaping the fattest profit margins in the industry. In addition, the company had continued to expand into new product lines, including Chanel watches retailing for as much as $7,000; additions to its popular shoe line; and other high-priced clothes, cosmetics, and accessories.