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Fashion moves on, style remains. Meet No 5!

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Chanel No 5 is by all means the most famous perfume in the world. For nearly a century, it’s been the scent of choice for the world’s most fashionable women. No 5 isn’t just a perfume.

It’s a concept.

It’s a vision.

The embodiment of the French elegance.

Above all, it’s the most successful PR campaign that has worked its magic since 1921. Now, 87 years later, its softer new version has been created to stand alongside the classic original.

But how could one dare to change the legend? Josephine Fairley says:

Ne paniquez pas. Simply think of Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere as the daughter of Chanel No 5, not a replacement; a subtly different version, created to seduce a new generation of No 5 fans. The original No 5 stays exactly as it is, down to the last rose petal.”

Jacques Polge, the creator of the new fragrance says:

I wasn’t scared at all. This is something fresh, something new, but with echoes of the original, sure.
Creating a fragrance is a poetic form. It’s a way of saying things without using either words or images; something which is invisible and, at the same time, so strong.”

According to the Economist, “nobody is quite sure how the financial crisis will affect the luxury-goods industry, but there is generally agreement that it faces hard times ahead.”

A new report from Bain & Company, a consultancy, predicts that the luxury-goods market may shrink by 3-7% during 2009. As a privately held company, Chanel may have a bit more room for manoeuvre than its listed rivals, such as the market leader, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. But Ms Chiquet (the head of the Chanel) says the company will have to “get smarter and more aggressive in some ways about how we’re going to spend our money”, meaning that Chanel may no longer be able to have five advertising campaigns running at a time.”

Chanel’s classic products continue to perform well, and sales of handbags and fine jewellery are strong, possibly because many customers consider these items “investments” that will not go out of style. Ms Chiquet does not plan to play it safe and stick only to the classics, however. The company was founded on defiance. Coco Chanel took women out of corsets and designed clothes inspired by menswear. Chanel’s future prosperity, Ms Chiquet believes, still hinges on its pursuit of the avant-garde. So her insistence on pushing ahead with the extravagant art exhibit, which one staff member describes as “just a big commercial for Chanel”, is a statement of intent in more ways than one.”

October 31st, 2008
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