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Honoring International Women’s Day with Coco Chanel’s Influence



Coco Chanel played a significant role in advancing women's rights and social progress through her revolutionary approach to fashion:


Chanel's designs often mixed elements of men's and women's clothing, breaking traditional gender stereotypes and giving women more freedom in how they dressed. She encouraged women to be stylish and take care of themselves but never to sacrifice comfort.



The Chanel Suit

The Chanel suit was a game-changer – not just for fashion but for women’s sartorial liberation. Coco Chanel introduced her first two-piece set in the 1920s, inspired by menswear and sportswear, as well as the suits of her then-lover, the Duke of Westminster. Keen to free women from the restrictive corsets and long skirts of previous decades, Chanel crafted a slim skirt and collarless jacket made of tweed, a fabric then considered markedly unglamorous. 


The suit was modern, slightly masculine in its cut, and ideal for the post-war woman making her first foray into the business world. Its popularity continued through the years and featured across collections from the house of Chanel, including those by Karl Lagerfeld.




Chanel Jersey Dress

Coco Chanel was the first designer to popularize jersey in women’s fashion, using the material for dresses, skirts, sweaters and more – a tradition Lagerfeld maintained as creative director in the decades following her death.


She created more comfortable and practical clothes, freeing women from the tight and restrictive corsets of the time. She wanted women to move and breathe in her clothes, just like men did in theirs.










The 2.55 bag

One of the most iconic Chanel bags of all time, the 2.55 subverted all the rules when it launched in February 1955 (hence the name). It was the first luxury bag for women with a shoulder strap – earlier clutches, including those from Chanel, all needed to be carried by hand.


The ground-breaking modification offered women new freedom and transformed how women’s bags were designed. Critics deemed the 2.55 uncouth, but shoppers loved its practicality. And practical it certainly was: The chain strap could double up and swing from one shoulder, an outside flap pocket was designed to store cash and the central pouch was perfectly shaped for lipstick.





Costume Jewelry

Until Chanel arrived on the fashion scene in the late 1920s, only the wealthy could afford jewelry as it was made nearly exclusively with precious stones and fine metals. Although Chanel had an impressive fine jewelry collection of her own, she still created a collection for women who couldn’t afford the exclusive thing.


By the end of that decade, she was releasing signature necklaces made of dangling, dainty chains, and intertwined with faux pearls and glittering stones. Chanel herself proudly wore several strands of fake pearls and made it a new fashion trend of wearing faux pearls.







Through her fashion empire, Chanel provided jobs for many women, showing that women could succeed in business. Chanel's own life story showed that women could achieve success and independence through talent and determination.


The world will always remember the iconic woman, Coco Chanel, and women are forever thankful for her pushing the limits of what they can and cannot be!



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