Chanel S.A., commonly known as Chanel, is a French fashion house founded by the couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, well established in haute couture, specializing in luxury goods (haute couture, ready-to-wear, handbags, perfumery, and cosmetics among others). She gained the name "Coco" while maintaining a career as a singer at a café in France. Chanel has catered to tastes in items such as simple suits, dresses, women's pants, and costume jewelry. Coco Chanel's vision was to replace such opulent, 'sexy' pieces with items which conveyed casual elegance. Today, Chanel is most famous for the "little black dress". According to Forbes, the privately owned House of Chanel is jointly owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer who are the great-grandsons of the early (1924) Chanel partner Pierre Wertheimer.
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was born as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883. She established new designs and revolutionized the fashion industry through the application of Jersy to womenswear and incorporating elegance, class, and originality to practical designs. Under her tight reign from 1909–1971, Coco Chanel held the title of 'Chief Designer' until her death on 10 January 1971.
Karl Lagerfeld, photo below, took over as Creative Director of Chanel in 1983.