Since the world went to war for the first time, there has not been any other brand who epitomized french luxury like the house of Chanel. Although already a celebrated dressmaking and millinery house, the brands first global success came in the form of a floral eau de parfum, encapsulated in a now ubiquitous crystal bottle named No. 5. Upon its subsequent expansion into a full fledged haute couture and ready to wear atelier, Chanel became more than fastidiously constructed garments, it was now a lifestyle. Those black interlocking C’s emblazoned against an alabaster background are seen amongst many women as a badge of grace and privilege. That badge had to be worn by an individual who embodied the brand in all its grandeur, which Marilyn Monroe assumed and exceeded as its first celebrity “face”.
Willow Smith is seen arriving at the Chanel fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on March 8, 2016. Jacopo Raule/GC Images
Marilyn Monroe acted as a beacon of light for Chanel in the darkness that World War 2 had cast over Europe in the 1940’s. Since then, the power of what the human image can do for a label was realized. Chanel has been under the creative helm of Karl Lagerfeld since Coco Chanel’s passing, which ushered in a younger and more modern woman who essentially made Chanel “cool”. From Vanessa Paradis, to Keira Knightly, but none more so than Willow Smith, who gives the label more of an edge than ever before. Willow Smith, accompanied by her mother and fashionista, Jada Pinkett-Smith, wore a tightly, form-fitting black and charcoal wetsuit with a zipper-front detail to the fall/winter 2016 Chanel runway show in Paris this past Tuesday, where she was named a brand ambassador.
Willow’s dreadlocked hair, svelte physique, and pierced septum sends the message to women all over the world that “the Chanel woman” is not a mold that needs to be fit into, but actually quite the opposite.
Karl Lagerfeld’s decision to appoint the trendsetting 15-year old could not have come at a better time. A time when there is a growing need for individuality. Although he is known for always being innovative and trendsetting, his decision will surely impact future generations and promote a world where individuality and self-expression is celebrated.
Written by: Mickey Booom and Mark Freeman
The Quintessential Gentleman