1883: August 19 Gabrielle Chanel is born
in Saumur / France
into a poor family.
Her father Albert Chanel was an intinerant street vendor.
Her mother was Jeanne Devolle.
1895: At age 12 Gabrielle and her two sisters (Julia Berthe and Antoinette),
were sent to a catholic convent of the
Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Mary at the Abbaye d' Aubazine in Corrèze, France.
The nuns teached her sewing.
Chanel was able to find employment as a shop assistant and seamstress
in a drapers store on rue Saint Honoré Paris 8eme.
She also neede to earn her living beeing a cafe singer.
One of her songs was "Ko Ko Ri Ko"
and soon her audience greeted her as "Coco".
1909: Coco Chanel founds her company
and opens a hat store in Paris at 160 boulevard Malesherbes.
The capital is given to her by her lover Etienne Balsan,
a textile businessman and socialite.
1910: with the help of her boyfriend Arthur Boy Chapel,
Coco establishes Chanel Mode on 21 rue Cambon
1910: The Romanov children grow up in St Petersbourg.
Fairytales about Paris, in particular the Cremerie de Paris
former home of Nicolas V de Villeroy
where King Louis XIV had been as a child
have an impact on the children who all want to travel to Paris.
The mother / aunt of the children, the last Tsarina knew the legends from the old Empress Eugénie.
Only a few of the Romanovs will survive the Russian Revolution
but the fairytales will have an impact on both the later invention of the Perfume Chanel N°5
registration of the VB.com two letter internet domain.
1920: Dmitri Romanov shows Coco Chanel the Cremerie de Paris,
a magical cheese store on 15 rue des Halles / 11 rue des Déchargeurs,
not very far from rue Cambon.
In the historic courtyard of the Cremerie
is a magnificient staircase including a "5" symbol.
The staircase fascinates her ....
Chanel falls in Love with both Dmitri and Cremerie de Paris.
Dmiti Romanov comes to live at her house in Garches,
la Villa Bel Respiro where she also hosts the
music composer Igor Stravinsky
From Garches Coco Chanel and Dmitri Romanov
enjoyed going around the pretty towns in the west of Paris
Saint Cloud, Marnes La Coquette, Ville d'Avray, Sevres,
Boulogne sur Seine or Meudon
Chanel had offered Dmitri a beige Rolls Royce
to drive her.
Meudon, is the home of a magical Cedar Tree
that goes back to the times of Napoleon I
Dmitri Romanov knew about the tree from fairytales
the last Tsarina told her children.
According to the old Empress Eugénie
a childhood friend of Dmitris aunt, the Tsarina,
the Cèdre de Meudon
has a magical power to transmit good energy.
Thorughout her live Coco Chanel continued to visit the tree
in Meudon near Paris on 11 rue de la Republique
when she needed force and inspiration.
1920: Dimitri Romanov locates the Russian / French perfumer
Ernest Beaux in Grasse.
Beaux had once made perfumes for the Romanov family.
Beaux was able to flee the Russian Revolution and to come to France.
Romanov introduces him to Coco Chanel
with the idea to create a perfume.
10 samples are prepared.
Each one has a number N°1 to N°5 and N°10 to N°15
Chanel chooses N°5, her lucky number.
The Love affair between Chanel and Dmitri Romanov does not last,
but they stay friends. What is left from the affair is N°5
and a little jewel ....
1920: Coco Chanel
is thinking about a Monogram matching her initials CC.
There are different theories about the birth of the Logo.
1921: the first version of Chanel N°5 comes alive,
Chanel offers small samples to her Boutique clients.
Her clients love the perfume but Coco Chanel doesn't have the know-how
to produce larger quantities. The perfume comes in a flacon designed
by Dmitri Romanov inspired by a Russian vodka bottle.
1924: at the racetracks of Longchamps Coco Chanel is introduced
to Pierre Wertheimer by Theophile Bader.
Pierre and his brother Paul Wertheimer
own of the perfume house Bourjois,
Theophile Bader is the founder of the Galeries Lafayette Department store.
1924: is established "Parfums Chanel".
Ernest Beaux brews the perfume,
one of the first ones to mix natural and artificial essences.
Coco Chanel redesignes the bottle,
the octagonal cap recalls the geometry and proportions of the place Vendôme.
The businessman, Pierre Wertheimer provides the financing and
70% interest in the Chanel Perfume business.
20 % are hold by Théophile Bader.
Coco Chanel licenses her name and expertise for 10%.
Dmitri Romanov who was not a businessman gets nothing.
Parfums Chanel are a different company seperate from the Chanel fashion house.
Later the terms of the agreement create major conflicts between Coco Chanel and Wertheimer,
as Coco feels having blindly signed an unfair deal.
Chanel N°5 becomes a world success.
Until today it is the best selling perfume worldwide.
1925: Coco Chanel meets the 2nd Duke of Westminster in Monte Carlo.
They fall in live.
The Duke who's nickname was Bendor was one weathiest man of the United Kingdom.
On the côte d'Azur the live between the yacht of the duke "The Flying Cloud",
the Hotel de Paris, the Hotel Hermitage and a little later Chanel's "Villa La Pausa".
Bendor spoils Mademoiselle Chanel with valuable jewellery and other presents,
but in what concerns an eventual marriage Coco Chanel made the famous quote: "There are many Duchesses of Westminster but only one Coco Chanel".
1926: invention of the little black dress
praised by Vogue as "Chanel's Ford"
marketability and practicality.
1928: construction of the Villa La Pausa near Monaco.
Vintage Video of Chanel Fashion shows during the 1930s
1932 november: Coco Chanel organizes a jewellery and diamont expo
at her mansion 29 Faubourg St Honoré.
1934: CC attends the Bal du Second Empire given by Prince de Faucigny-Lucinge 1935: CC attends the Grand Siècle costume Ball given by Count Etienne de Beaumont
1937: Coco Chanel is wealthy enough to move to the Hotel Ritz.
The Hotel and the place Vendome become a source of inspiration for her.
4,000 people work for Chanel.
1938: Coco Chanel meets Aimée Lopes de Sotto Maior,
sent to Paris
by Getulio Vargas, President of Brazil
as a Secrent Service Agent.
Chanel is captivated by Aimées Brazilian beauty and charm
not realising that Aimées mission is to find information and contacts.
1939: July 1, Coco Chanel and Aimee Lopes de Sotto Maior
go to the Circus Ball given by Lady Mendl.
The Duke of Westminster also falls in Love with Aimée de Heeren,
one of the World's most beautiful woman and much younger than Chanel.
The Duke, also called Bendor, always has extraordinary presents,
the only problem is that the ones for Aimée are much spectacular ...
Chanel becomes jealous which confuses her friendship with Aimée.
1939: September Chanel closes her shops after the declaration of World War II,
31 rue Cambon remains open for accessories & perfumes.
1940: Aimee Lopes de Sotto Maior tries to keep Brazil away from Germany.
Her work as a secret agent in Paris becomes too dangerous
emigrates to New York where she continues to wark as an agent.
1940: Pierre Wertheimer emigrates to New York.
Without success Coco Chanel used her contacts with the German occupation forces
to get hold of the Wertheimer interests in her perfumes.
Anticipating Nazi mandates against Jews, he turns over his interests in Chanel
to Félix Amiot and thus avoids beeing seized.
1947: Coco Chanel and Pierre Wertheimer meet and make peace
over their never ending fights around the distribution of the perfume revenues.
1948: September 28, birth of Alain Wertheimer (co-owner of Chanel today). 1951: April 17, birth of Gerard Wertheimer (co-owner of Chanel today).
1953: July 19, death of Bendor / 2nd Duke of Westminster.
Both Ganrielle Chanel and Aimée are sad.
Bendor remains in their memory for his extraordinary presents.
1954: February 5, comeback to Paris and reopening of the fashion house
with financial backing of her old "business partner"
and former "worst ennemy" Pierre Wertheimer.
Coco Chanel is 71 years old .... and at this age sucessful "comebacks" are rare.
One day when asked why did you return ?
Coco answered "one night at diner Christian Dior said
a women could never be a creat couturier".
1955: Marilyn Monroe photo by Ed Feigersh
1955: Suzy Parker becomes the new Chanel model.
Moovie stars Liz Taylor, Grace Kelly and Rita Hayworth adopt Chanel dresses.
1955: Launch of the perfume "Pour Monsieur".
1957: Coco Chanel receives the Neiman Marcus Fashion award.
1957 / 1959: Coco Chanel with her models
1959: Chanel enters MoMA, the New York Museum of Modern Art.
1959: Interview with Coco Chanel after a fashion show
Also talking her favorire model
1960: Coco Chanel and her former rival Aimée,
now called Aimée de Heeren
both miss Bendor, the 2nd Duke of Westminster
reconsilate - they enjoy sharing souvenirs of the past.
1960s: Coco Chanel is getting old and she is very lonely.
Aimée de Heeren calls her to cheer her up.
They go on long night walks through the city of Paris
some take them back to the beautiful staircase with the 5 symbol
the Cremerie de Paris / Hotel de Villeroy Bourbon.
40 years later,
Aimeé de Heeren returns to Cremerie de Paris,
in the meantime converted to an Internet Cafe
where she takes web lessons.
1960s Chanel enjoys to walk on the Grande Terrasse of Meudon
from where she can see Paris
and the Cedre Impérial she knew from Dmitri Romanov.
Already in her seventies Chanel
visits the tree to find energy and inspiration.
She shows the Cedar tree to her friend Aimée de Heeren.
30 years later Aimée de Heeren
shows the tree to the editor of VB.com
If the Cedar would be able to speak
he could tell you many stories about Gabrielle Chanel.
2021 the magical tree was supposed to be cut down for
a Real Estate project but luckily hundreds of children painted it
and the the major of Meudon
Denis Larghero save it.
1962: Romy Schneider wears Chanel in a Luchino Visconti movie.
1963: International Telecom Union in Geneva prepares a new
World phone system giving direct dial country codes for every counrty.
During their night walks Coco Chanel and her Brazilian friend Aimée de Heeren
have a crazy idea. They want to get +55 as the phone code for Brazil.
With the help of their friend Johannes von Thurn & Taxis
Aimée de Heeren undertakes all kind of lobbying efforts
which might have had some impact on the attribution
of the magic double "55" phone code.
1965: Pierre Wertheimer dies
and his son Jacques
takes control of the company.
Jacques Wertheimer is more known for his horse breeding
activities that for his work for Chanel.
1966: Coco Chanel receiving Marie Helène et Nadine de Rothschild at home.
1968: Catherine Deneuve becomes the new face for the Chanel N°5 ads.
1969: Interview of Coco Chanel
1970: Launch of Chanel N°19, the "19" stands for Coco's birthday.
1970: Interview with her friend Jacques Chazot (1986 mai the editor of this artice
was on a train from Geneva to Paris,
Jacques Chazot was taking a seat next to him
but unfortunatly he was stupid enough
not to want to talk to Chanel's friend)
1970: December, Coco Chanel and Aimée de Heeren meet for the last time,
Chanel leaves her a little jewel once received from Dmitri Romanov.
A quater of a century later the little jewel will
help Cremerie de Paris to reopen ...
also resulting in the VB.com domain.
1971: January 10, Coco Chanel dies at the Ritz.
The funeral is the the Madeleine Church in Paris.
Chanel's favorite models occupy the front row seat at la Madeleine.
Coco is buried in the Bois-de-Vaux cemetery in Lausanne.
Several movies are made about her life.
"Coco before Chanel" is made in 2009,
the french actress
Audrey Tautou plays Coco Chanel.
You can read the article Secret Life of Chanel by Justine Picardy from the Sunday Telegraph.
1974: Alain Wertheimer (son of Jacques and grandson of Pierre)
takes control of the company at age 25.
He succedes to revitalize the companies aging image.
1978: Jacques Polge becomes the third artisitic director of Chanel Perfumes
1981: launch of the perfume Antaeus. 1981: opening of the Chanel store at SN3 in Antwerp.
1982: opening of the Chanel store in Brussels.
1983: Karl Lagerfeld is hired as chief designer.
Lagerfeld was previously working for Fendi and Cloe.
1983 - 1989: Ines de la Fressange is the Chanel Top model with an exclusivity contract.
The contact breaks when Ines de la Fressagne become the new "Marianne"
1984: launch of the perfume Coco
Commercial with Vanessa Paradis directed by Jean Paul Goud
1985 / 1986: the editor of this website, a young student makes some extra money
working in Fashion shows through the agency Florence Doré.
The job makes him meet people difficult to meet for students,
one of them Johannes von Thurn und Taxis inviters him to his birthday party.
1986: june 6 - birthday party for Johannes Thurn & Taxis.
Thurn & Taxis connects
the editor of this website with Chanels friend Aimée de Heeren.
Over the next 20 years - without realising it - he gets acces
to a lots of information concerning the private life of Gabrielle Chanel
Aimée has a new company for her hight walks through Paris
1989: December opening ot the Chanel store in Zuerich
1990: launch of the perfume Egoiste.
1993: the legendary Cremerie de Paris N°1,
center of the fairytales of the Romanov children
is for rent. The owner is scared to rent the store to someone still very young.
Aimée de Heeren sells the little jewel Coco ,Chanel has left her
tgo help getting a bankloan to buy Cremerie de Paris.
As if Coco Chanel had decided to continue the story.
Little by little the Cremerie turns into the first Internetcafe in Paris
1996: launch of the frangrance Allure (Perfumer Jacques Polge) 1996, August 26: registration of the Chanel.com internet domain 1996: acquisition of the gunmaker Holland & Holland
1996: opening of the New York Boutique on 57th street
2001: launch of the perfume Coco Mademoiselle 2001: acquisition of the watchmaker Bell & Ross
2002: launch of the perfume Chance
2005: December opening ot the Chanel store in Amsterdam.
2006: Aimée de Heeren dies in New York, 103 years old.
With her many secrets of Gabriel Chanel go ...
2008: Countess Caroline von Krockow Lahame moves to Paris.
She encourages the editor of this website to research the life of Coco Chanel
to better understand the past of his friend Aimée de Heeren. He discovers more and more paths from the past crossing.
2011: Lauch of the Chanel Cruise Collection
30 min Short Moovie "The Tale of a Fairy"
played at Villa Eilenroc and other places on the côte d'Azur
may 9 2011 at the Hotel du Cap. The Tale of a Fairy
was imagined written and directed by Karl Lagerfeld.
The main actresses are Anna Mouglalis,
Kristen Mcmenamy, Freja Beha
with minor rols by Baptiste Giabiconi, Jake Davies, Oriol Elcacho,
Sébastien Jondeau and Brad Koenig.
2012 nov 10 - nov 25 Expo The Little Back Dress au Grand Palais in Paris
with 113 Lagerfeld photographies
2013 mai - juin Expo Culture Chanel à Paris
2014 october publication of the Book The Circus Ball parties by Elsie de Wolf
with never seen pictures taken by Roger Schall in 1938 / 1939
of Coco Chanel and Aimée Lopes Sotto Maior.
The picture shows Caroline von Krockow with Louis Henri Schlumberger
admiring the newly discovered images of Coco Chanel and Aimée de Heeren.
2014 october Chanel acquires 20% of the captiatl of Coty
in exchange of the perfume house Bourgeois.
2016 december 6 Metiers d'Art show at the Hotel Ritz
2019 december - Chanel banns fur from the collections.
2019 january 22 - Karl Lagerfeld is missing the Chanel fashion show.
2019 february 19 - Karl Lagerfeld dies in Neuilly sur Seine.