The first Chanel boutique in Biarritz, France.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France,


An innovative fabric and thrifty business prowess saw Coco’s fashion flourish. Jersey, a stretchy knit fabric, which was then most commonly used for men’s underwear, was adopted by Chanel for its elegant drape and comfortable feel, whilst its low cost was an added bonus. Against the standard decorative Edwardian wardrobe, the casual designs seen in Chanel’s boutique were new and exciting for a generation of women raised in restrictive corsets, and genuinely revolutionised the way women lived their lives. Chanel herself became the epitome of what women strove to be: independent, dynamic, slim and sporty. Her cropped hair and boyish figure became the ideal for young women, and her collection, featuring clean lines, simple silhouettes, and classic shades of black, white and beiges, were instant wardrobe staples.