Discover the eternal Coco Chanel, the life and legend
Paris is amazing.
It’s sumptuous ballet of style, elegance and class.
For high-fashion, Paris is world capital.
For centuries, Paris has been the epicentre of the high-fashion world. It’s a veritable empire.
And the empress is the legendary French fashion designer, the eternal Coco Chanel.
Chanel is Paris, the incarnation of Parisian style.
To know what makes Paris special, spend time getting to know the Coco Chanel story.
For Chanel fans and fashionistas, it’s a must. Innovators and entrepreneurs discover a life story rich in inspiration. Discerning travellers find out what makes Paris tick.
… and lovers of the finer things in life? Simply divine!
The Chanel Paris experience
It’s why we teamed up with Nathalie and Alexandra to create the exclusive Chanel Paris Tour.
Nathalie and Alexandra are experts on French fashion, style and luxury. They’re local Parisians who know the Chanel Paris universe intimately. Plus, they incarnate that unique chic Parisian style naturally.
But more about that in a minute …
Let’s take a peak into the marvellous universe of Coco Chanel and her Paris.
Coco Chanel, the life and legend
With her trademark suits and little black dress, Coco Chanel created timeless designs. She revolutionized fashion and her designs are still popular today. In fact, in a very real sense, we’re all wearing Chanel.
Coco Chanel’s story is an inspiration.
She was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on 19 August, 1883, in France. Her mother died early and she was raised in an orphanage. It was there she learned to sew.
Her early life was far from glamorous. She started working as a peddler. Later she sang in clubs in Vichy and Moulins in Paris. It was there she became known as “Coco”.
Around the age of 20, Chanel became involved with a wealthy businessman, Etienne Balsan. He offered to help her start a millinery business in Paris.
The love affair didn’t last. Coco switched her affections to Etienne’s friend, Arthur “Boy” Capel. But love affairs aside, it was both men who helped Coco start her first “Chanel” fashion venture.
When rue Cambon became the house of Chanel …
In 1910, Coco opened a clothing shop on rue Cambon in Paris. She sold hats with success. Later, she added stores in fashionable coastal towns of Deauville and Biarritz.
Take a look at Karl Lagerfeld’s film on these early days, featuring Coco’s debut in Deauville.
Chanel’s first success as a clothing designer came rather unplanned.
It all started with a little dress she fashioned out of an old jersey on a chilly day in Deauville. People were impressed by what she was wearing. They asked where she got it.
Always one to note the tide on the day, Coco seized the opportunity. She later said, “My fortune is built on that old jersey that I’d put on because it was cold in Deauville.”
That earliest design set a wave of creativity going that remains a signature of the house of Chanel today.
Tracing the scent of Coco’s creativity …
Her earliest successes gave her the financial freedom to go further. In the early 1920s, she launched her first perfume, the eternal Chanel N°5.
For Coco, “Perfume is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion … that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.”
And indeed, Chanel N°5 has prolonged Coco’s own departure. Today, it’s without a doubt the world’s most recognized and adored perfume and one of her greatest achievements.
But it was by far not her last.
In 1925, she created the Chanel suit and the little black dress, the LBD, today icons of the world of fashion and the models upon which other designers conceive.
An enduring legacy, the force of Coco Chanel
What was striking about these designs was their comfort. Coco made clothes that were comfortable for women to wear. They were also incredibly chic and luxurious. The two were never mutually exclusive for Chanel. As she said, “luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”.
Her designs and creations were revolutionary for the time. She said goodbye to the restricting corsets. She did away with the confining garments that had imprisoned women’s bodies in the past.
Chanel was also the first to borrow elements of men’s wear for women’s clothing. Like the little black dress that made fashionable the traditional color of mourning, Chanel challenged the mores and values of the day. She was, in fact, a champion of the modern woman.
There is much more to her story, of course, like the dark days of World War II, a fall from grace and triumphant return. Her taking of the USA by storm in the fifties and, at 70 years of age, conquest of world opinion for her feminine and easy-fitting designs.
And you can hear all about it with Nathalie and Alexandra in Paris …
When Coco passed away in Paris on 10 January 1971, she had become the icon of fashion around the world.
The house of Chanel had become the most recognized brand in the world. Revered as a style icon, that brand remains known for the signature of Coco’s simple yet sophisticated outfits paired with great accessories. Always chic, elegant and luxurious … forever Chanel.
A decade after her death, Karl Lagerfeld took over the company she created as chief designer. He continued the Chanel legacy at rue Cambon in Paris, where it all began.
Chanel and Paris, an everlasting affair
Coco spent much of her life creating the house of Chanel in Paris.
It was this city, the City of Lights, that brought her opportunity and gave her inspiration.
A classic example is her “love affair” with Place Vendôme. Look closely at the iconic perfume, Chanel N°5. Notice the memorable shape of the bottle. That’s the outline of the famous square you’re seeing.
For Chanel, Paris was her life and inspiration. And you’ll find many key Chanel locations in Paris well worth visiting.
Chanel Fine Jewelry
There is, of course, Place Vendôme, the world’ epicenter of luxury with its elegant townhouses, fashion boutiques, and high-end jewelry stores. Today, Place Vendôme is home to Chanel’s high-end jewelry store at N°18.
The Ritz Paris
At the Ritz Paris, she resided for much of her life. Although she had an apartment where she entertained guests at 31 rue Cambon, it was in this iconic hotel she preferred to retire to at the end of each day.
In the Ritz Paris you’ll see many old photos of Chanel, along with the many famous people who were part of her entourage, like Hemingway, Picasso, Cocteau and Churchill.
31 rue Cambon
And of course, there is rue Cambon. The jewel is 31 rue Cambon, the Chanel flagship store.
It’s also where the Chanel atelier is located, where Chanel worked her designs with seamstresses, stylists, designers and models.
Today, Karl Lagerfeld continues to work there, creating the house of Chanel’s contemporary collections.
On the second floor is Coco’s apartment. Unfortunately, it is closed to the public. Getting access is near impossible. Rihanna and Kirsten Stewart are the latest lucky few to have been granted access.
Then on the first floor is the flagship Chanel store.
This world famous teahouse on rue de Rivoli, close to Place Vendôme and rue Cambon, was a favorite spot for Coco.
Coco Chanel frequented it, along with many of the personalities that made the 20th century.
The Musée de la Mode et du Textile (The Fashion & Textile Museum)
With a rich history of design, you’ll also want to see upfront the iconic pieces that made the name.
At the Musée de la Mode, part of Les Art Décoratifs (a section of the Louvre), you’ll see a slice of the 5000 or more fashion items that have defined the history of French fashion.
The collection at Musée de la Mode include many icon Chanel pieces, in addition to creations by famous contemporaries, like Dior and Paul Poiret.
Experience a private encounter with Coco Chanel in Paris, the life and legend
The best way to “meet” Coco Chanel in Paris is with a Parisian fashion and luxury expert.
That’s why we teamed up with Nathalie and Alexandra. Their deep knowledge and passionate involvement in the French fashion and luxury scene gives you true insider access.
Both live and breathe the Parisian world of high-fashion. They have insider knowledge on the latest installment of Paris Fashion Week. They know the boutiques, designers and business of high-end fashion.
And for them, Chanel is Paris … a lived experience.
Spend time with them as your expert private host and you’re …
Guaranteed the best Chanel insider secrets
It’s a wonderful Parisian experience to immerse yourself in the story of Coco Chanel. Take the Chanel walk, tracing her footsteps around iconic addresses. And look at the minute detail tourists miss and only the most discerning travelers get to see.
With Nathalie and Alexandra, guests visit the most iconic Coco Chanel locations in Paris. And along the way,
- Discover Coco’s life story in exquisite detail
- Be inspired by her rise from humble beginnings
- Learn how she built a fashion empire, the exceptional house of Chanel
- Marvel at her tenacity in breaking through the male dominated world of fashion
- See how she revolutionized women’s wear and redefined womanhood, unchaining women from the tyranny of constraint
- Celebrate her championing of the modern woman
- Go deep into understanding her signature style
- Delight in decoding the symbolism of her emblematic pieces
- Note the recurring lions, wheat motifs, shooting stars, the enduring camellia flowers and magical N°5, and the interlocking Cs of the world’s most memorable logo
And of course, learn about the incredible characters who populated her life – her lovers, friends, artists, and the rich and powerful.
On the Chanel Tour Paris you’ll see why Chanel was the only fashion designer to be included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century.
Enter the Heart of Chanel Paris
With every step of the way, you’ll see and experience the universe of Coco Chanel and the house of Chanel in all its glory and detail.
It’s not just the locations you’ll see. With Nathalie and Alexandra, you dive deep into the Chanel experience, seeing, touching and sensing her signature style. They bring the experience alive and into the present, too.
You’ll see the latest collections by Karl Lagerfeld. Witness how he pays homage to “Coco” in Chanel’s contemporary collection.
And discuss the Chanel effect on contemporary fashion worldwide. Discover why “every woman alive loves Chanel N°5”. Find out why we’re all wearing Chanel today, whether you own a Chanel item or not.
With every minute of this experience, value the magic remarkable Chanel creations. Grasp why Chanel is desired by women everywhere around the globe.
For two fabulous hours, absorb just how “eternal” Coco Chanel truly is.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect …
Discover the Essence of Chanel in Parisian Luxury
- Begin your adventure in five star comfort at the luxurious Castille Hotel
- Enjoy a refreshment as your host begins the remarkable Coco Chanel story
- Then trace Chanel’s footsteps into Place Vendôme
- Absorb what inspired her so much about this iconic Parisian address
- See the Exclusive World of Chanel Fine Jewelry at N°18 Place Vendôme
- Trace Coco’s footsteps to the Ritz Paris, where she resided.
Make your pilgrimage to where it all began at 31 rue Cambon
Of course, no Parisian fashion experience could be complete without a visit to the ultimate Chanel boutique at 31 Rue Cambon.
This is the true heart of Chanel Paris, the most emblematic address in the Chanel story. It’s where it all began.
Revel in the impeccably presented and alluring creations of Chanel’s contemporary collection. Let your senses travel with the mythic fragrances, accessories, jewelry, watches, and prêt-à-porter styles.
In every piece your Chanel Tour Paris host will highlight the continuity of Chanel’s signature.
Bring your Chanel experience to a climax standing before the legendary art deco staircase. It was here that Coco sat, surveying every room and gauging the desirous expressions of her coveted clientele.
For Chanel fans, fashion enthusiasts and more …
This event will certainly send the Chanel fans and fashion enthusiasts into the happiness stratosphere.
And it’s also tailor-made for anyone who thrives on the inspiration of remarkable people who’ve achieved incredible success.
But above all, it’s simply perfect for those of us who love to indulge our senses and enlarge our outlooks with the finer things in life.
Be moved with pure beauty …
And, as you glide from Chanel’s Place Vendôme to 31 rue Cambon, catch a glimpse of yourself in the pristine mirrors – your own Chanel reflection of infinite and luxurious possibility.
Bathe it in. Breathe it. Be inspired.
Write a new chapter in your unique Parisian story with Coco Chanel and the house of Chanel, immersed in the class and elegance of Paris.