Top Companies Report

17. Chanel

August 11, 2011


Sales: $1.4 billion (estimated)

Key Personnel:

Maureen Chiquet, chief executive officer; Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer, co-owners; Arie L. Kopelman, vice chairman and chief operating officer; John Galantic, president, Chanel USA;Peter Philips, global creative director of makeup; Christine Dagousset, executive vice president, fragrance and beauté, Chanel, Inc.; Guy Schreiber, president, Chanel, Inc.; Xavier Ormancey, director of Chanel research.

Major Products:

Color cosmetics, skin care and fragrances.

New Products:

Bleu de Chanel, Sublimage Essential Revitalizing Concentrate and Sublimage La Crème Texture Suprême, Rouge Coco Shine, Collection Les Fleures d’Ete, Precious Metal nail lacquers, Collections Byzance de Chanel (limited edition), 1.7oz flacon of Chance Eau Fraîche, Illusion D’Ombre long wear luminous eyeshadow, Rouge Allure Velvet matte lipstick (Fall).


Chanel is clearly a leader in luxury goods, selling products that are coveted by those who can afford Karl Lagerfeld-designed jackets and resort wear as well as those who aspire to wear them—and settle on a Chanel lipstick instead. During the Great Recession, luxury beauty fared quite well overall, and when it comes to creating trends within that space, few can match Chanel’s star power. A new shade on a runway model’s nails or lips can easily create frenzy in the nail lacquer or lipstick market, ultimately leading the mass market (and other prestige players as well) down a similar path.

Chanel also enjoys iconic stature in the fragrance market. One of the brand’s newest scents, Bleu de Chanel (a 2010 rollout and its first major men’s launch since 2004) netted a pair of 2011 FiFi honors, including men’s luxe fragrance of the year and best media campaign of the year (men’s). In addition, Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle Bath Essentials line was voted bath and body line of the year.

Although Chanel is famous for its colors and fragrances, it also focuses on formulating science. Among its newest and most powerful skin care SKUs are Sublimage Essential Revitalizing Concentrate ($425) and Sublimage La Crème Texture Supreme ($390), which are powered by Golden Champa and enriched Planifolia Polyfractioned Actives (PFAs), respectively. PFAs are “ultra-pure, ultra-powerful ingredients created through an exclusive purification technique developed by Chanel,” according to the company.

Related End-User Markets:

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