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Brand Description

CHANEL is a private company and a world leader in creating, developing, manufacturing and distributing luxury products.

Founded by Gabrielle Chanel at the beginning of the last century, CHANEL offers a broad range of high-end creations, including Ready-to-Wear, Leather Goods, Fashion Accessories, Eyewear, Fragrances, Makeup, Skincare, Jewelry and Watches. CHANEL is also renowned for its Haute Couture collections, presented twice yearly in Paris, and for having acquired a large number of specialized suppliers, collectively known as the Métiers d’Art. CHANEL is dedicated to ultimate luxury and to the highest level of craftsmanship.

It is a brand whose core values remain historically grounded on exceptional creation. As such, CHANEL promotes culture, art, creativity and “savoir-faire” throughout the world, and invests significantly in people, R&D and innovation.

Currently, CHANEL employed more than 32,000 across the world.

Key Personnel

  • Alain Wertheimer
    Global Executive Chairman and Co-Owner
  • Leena Nair
    Global CEO
  • John Galantic
    President and COO, Chanel Inc.
  • Philippe Blondiaux
    Global CFO

Yearly results

Sales: 7 Billion

Sales: $7.0 billion

Comments: Corporate sales soared 17% last year to a record $17.2 billion. Operating profit rose 5.8% to nearly $5.8 billion. Clearly, consumers remained brand loyal to the world’s No. 2 luxury goods maker (behind LVMH), despite price increases. In fact, half of Chanel’s revenue growth was due to price increases.

The company posted double-digit gains across all product lines. By region, sales in Asia Pacific rose 14.3% to $8.65 billion. Revenues climbed 29.6% in Europe to $4.72 billion and 9.5% in the Americas to $3.86 billion.

Chanel is expanding its London-based global headquarters. The company expects to complete the move to 38 Berkeley Square by the end of 2025. Chanel moved its global headquarters to London from New York City in 2018.
Chanel plans to hire about 5,000 more employees worldwide this year.

In May, CFO Philippe Blondiaux told The Financial Times that Chanel’s growth had slowed in the US in the past six months. As a result, US revenues are growing in “the single digits,” he told FT. In contrast, demand in China is picking up with the end of covid lockdowns. Sales to Chinese consumers in France were down 90% from 2019 levels, according to Chanel.

Stephane Blanchard was appointed president of the US region and Chanel Inc., effective September 1. He replaces John Galantic who stepped down as chief operating officer of Chanel Inc. Prior to this appointment, Blanchard was managing director of Chanel Korea, where he has served since 2016. There, Blanchard implemented transformative strategies for talent development, culture, client engagement, retail agility and sustainability, resulting in significant business growth, according to Chanel. He has also been instrumental in driving digital and data transformation across the Asia-Pacific region.

Innovation also drives success at Chanel. In July, Chanel Parfums Beauté was awarded US Patent No. 11,696,887 B2 for a cosmetic composition comprising Pichia naganishii hydrolysate. The patent covers a cosmetic composition comprising a hydrolysate of a yeast of the species Pichia naganishii obtained from an exudate of Camellia japonica. The composition is designed for promoting moisturization. Earlier in the year, another Chanel patent (US 11,590,070 B2) detailed a Camellia extract obtained by extracting through ultrasound a powder of Camellia japonica flowers. The extract has soothing and anti-inflammatory cosmetic properties.

At press time, Chanel announced a brick-and-mortar space for fragrance and other goods in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY.

Chanel has new IP around the use of Camellia japonica.

Sales: 7.1 Billion

Sales: $7.1 billion

Corporate sales surged 49.6% to $15.6 billion. By region, growth was led by the Americas (+79.5%), Asia Pacific (+53.5%) and Europe (+40%). Chanel’s eCommerce sales grew 32% in 2021 and the company opened 50 stand-alone beauty boutiques. It was enough for CFO Philippe Blondiaux to predict Chanel’s beauty business could be more than 50% direct-to-consumer “in a few years.”

Chanel’s Les Beiges compact
(photo courtesy of Texen)

Taking a closer look at fragrance and beauty, the division reported market share gains in key countries, and demand (both in boutiques and online) from local clientele as travel retail remained impacted by restrictions.

Last year was a milestone year for fragrance with Chanel marking the 100th anniversary of its iconic Chanel No. 5. To celebrate the occasion, Chanel created pop-ups in key markets and launched the Chanel Factory 5 collection.

The 16 limited-edition products were inspired by everyday objects in an ultra-modern design, bringing the history of the world’s most famous fragrance into the future. Besides No. 5, the company said Bleu and Coco Mademoiselle boosted fragrance sales while skin care provided a lift to the overall beauty segment.

At the start of 2022, Leena Nair was appointed global CEO. She succeeded Alain Wertheimer, who is now global executive chairman. Prior to the move, Wertheimer served as CEO after Maureen Chiquet exited the role in 2016.

Before joining Chanel, Nair was with Unilever, where she served as chief human resource officer. Under her leadership, Unilever was the No. 1 FMCG graduate employer of choice in 54 countries. Nair headed the Diversity and Inclusion agenda for Unilever.

“2022 will be a year of investments in our business,” said Blondiaux. “We plan to invest more than $1 billion in capital expenditure. We plan to hire 3,500 people net around the world across retail, manufacturing and creative roles to continue to enhance our savoir-faire. We’ll continue to invest relentlessly to deliver our climate and sustainability commitment.”

In June, Chanel entered the “clean beauty” category with the launch of No. 1, a skin care and makeup collection formulated with up to 97% of ingredients derived from natural origin. The key ingredient in the line is camellia, a flower grown in Chanel’s fields located in France. Camellia, according to company lore, was the favorite of Coco Chanel herself. Moreover, it is one of the few flowers to bloom in winter. Chanel says its researchers have harnessed camellia’s resilience in its new formulas.

According to Chanel, the line’s skin care serum improves the quality of skin, diminishing the appearance of wrinkles by 25%, visibly refining the appearance of pores by 25% and increasing elasticity by 25%. According to Chanel, skin feels 81% more comfortable and appears 54% more radiant.

No. 1 also includes foundation, fragrance mist, eye cream, revitalizing cream, powder-to-foam cleanser, lip and cheek balm and revitalizing lotion.

At its open-sky laboratory in Gaujacq, France, the land is devoted primarily to camellias and is managed to preserve local biodiversity.

Sales: 3.4 Billion

Sales: $3.4 billion
Corporate sales: $10.1 billion

Luxury purchases were out of fashion during 2020. Sales fell sharply at Chanel, a premier luxury house with business interests in fashion, jewelery and cosmetics and toiletries. Corporate sales fell 18% last year, led by a 36% decline in Europe. Profitability took a nose-dive as well.

But Chief Financial Officer Philippe Blondiaux said the figures reflected the company’s commitment to protecting its staff, supply chain and business partners during a “delicate and painful” year. For example, Chanel refused take advantage of government offers to furlough its staff, and supported some of its financially struggling suppliers.

In a session with analysts, Blondiaux also noted that Chanel’s fragrance and beauty portfolio is much bigger proportionately than any of its peers and that CFT suffered tremendously from the absence of duty-free business. Yet, through all the hardship, the company continued to invest.

While other upscale beauty makers like LVMH, were in defensive mode throughout the year, Chanel increased capital expenditures by 45%, to a record $1.1 billion in 2020 and plans to spend more through 2021. Investments include client-facing tools like concierge shopping services, an app linking existing clients with fashion advisors and store upgrades, including the purchase of its New Bond Street store in London and a new jewelry store in Beverly Hills.

Like most companies in The International Top 30, Chanel is committed to sustainability. The company’s new climate action plan, Chanel Mission 1.5°, was developed with the Science Based Targets initiative and sets science-based targets: the goal is to reduce carbon emissions in its own operations by 50% by 2030, and in its supply chain by 40% per unit sold by 2030. Chanel’s targets are in line with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, and the company has also committed to shifting to 100% renewable electricity by 2025.


Sales: 4.1 Billion

Sales: $4.1 billion for cosmetics and fragrances.
Corporate sales $12.3 billion

Privately-held Chanel said 2019 sales rose more than 10%, but don’t expect one of the world’s biggest players in the luxury market to duplicate the feat in 2020. CFO Philippe Blondiaux said that even with Europe reopening, the group cannot make up for the lack of international travel.

“We anticipate that the external environment will continue to impact the luxury sector negatively for at least the next 18-24 months,” he told reporters.

One bright spot has been China, where sales have rebounded by more than 100% in some weeks. Sales are also improving in key European cities such as Paris, Milan and Berlin.

Chanel certainly won’t be alone. Consultancy Bain predicts that the $310 billion luxury goods sector could see a decline of 35% this year.

In looking back to 2019, the company said its fragrance and beauty business continued to deliver robust growth across all product categories and channels. In fragrance, Chanel added to its market leading position with the launch of Chance Eau Tendre Eau de Parfum and the new Gabrielle Essence, as well as the sustained success of Bleu de Chanel. In beauty, Chanel continued to gain market share, getting a lift from Rouge Coco Flash and Ultra Le Teint, while Sublimage and Le Lift propelled skin care gains.


Sales: 3.7 Billion

Sales: $3.7 billion for cosmetics, fragrance and toiletries.
Corporate sales: $11.1 billion.

A year ago marked the first time in Chanel’s 110-year history that it made its annual results publicly available. In the company’s second-ever annual report, Chanel revealed that it achieved $11.12 billion in sales in 2018, up 10.5% from the previous year, while net profits climbed 16.4% to $2.17 billion. The reported growth was largely driven by strong growth in the Asia-pacific region, where the company saw a 19.9% rise in annual sales, compared to a 7.7% rise in Europe and 7.4% in the Americas.

These figures place Chanel, which is owned by the reclusive billionaire brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, a bit closer to Louis Vuitton, which has long held the title of the most valuable luxury brand company in the world. Whether or not Chanel has actually outpaced Louis Vuitton is unclear, as LVMH does not reveal revenue for its individual brands. Either way, it is clear that Chanel is not preparing for a sale as some rumors might lead you to believe.

“Would a company preparing itself for a sale invest more than $1 billion in twelve months in sustaining creativity and innovation? Or increase its head count by 14 percent? No. These numbers talk and tell you everything you need to know, which is that we have a strong balance sheet, extremely strong sales growth across all regions and product categories and continue to work extremely well as a private company,” commented Philippe Blondieaux, Chanel’s chief financial officer.

Chanel continues to earn profits even after the death of its long-time creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, in February. Since 1983, Lagerfield reigned over Chanel with indisputable authority, helping to turn a storied haute-couture fashion house into a global megabrand. His death, at the age of 85, left long-time creative deputy Virginie Viard in charge of the collections. The company is still mourning Lagerfield’s death, but does not expect any impact on its financials as a result of his passing.

Additionally, this year the company opened its first stores in Israel. The two stores in Tel Aviv will sell Chanel’s personal care products and accessories, which were hitherto marketed in Israel through sales stands in pharmacy chains, not independent stores.

In June, Chanel became the latest retail giant to make a public nod toward environmentally conscious products by investing in Evolved by Nature, a green chemistry company, as a part of an effort to make luxury items less damaging to the planet. Evolved by Nature seeks to replace harsh synthetic additives with a new kind of silk. This isn’t the first time Chanel has sought to make green strides. Last year, the company invested in a Finnish biodegradable plastic packaging alternative, Sulapac.


Sales: 3.2 Billion

Sales: $3.2 billion (estimated) for beauty products.
Corporate sales: $9.6 billion.

For many years, the only number Chanel wanted to talk about was, well, No 5. Not anymore. In June, the privately-held company opened its books (a bit) to report 2017 corporate sales that were just shy of $10 billion. The total puts Chanel among luxury leaders ahead of Gucci and behind Louis Vuitton.

The announcement marked the first time in 108 years that the luxury goods company, which has always kept that information close to the vest, had officially released performance numbers. Corporate sales rose 11.5% to $9.62 billion in 2017, according to Chanel. Happi estimates that sales are evenly split between three divisions: cosmetics, fashion and jewelry. The gain was due to a 16.5% increase in Asia. Profit rose 18.5% to $1.79 billion. The launch of Gabrielle propelled fragrance sales higher in 2017, according to the company.

Some media reports suggested the company released the earnings information following reports that it was a target of an acquisition. The move to publish was “absolutely not” a precursor to a stock market listing, chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux told Reuters. He also ruled out a sale.

“We are very proud of who we are at Chanel and how much we have achieved while always retaining a core vision and creative heritage,” Blondiaux said. “This will remain the same in 10 years, 50 years—centuries—to come. This is what we want to communicate.”

Lost somewhat in all of the financial fanfare was Chanel’s announcement that it established a new, London-headquartered holding company, Chanel Limited, as part of efforts to bring all its businesses and 20,000 employees under a single roof and to simplify a legal and organizational structure unchanged since the 1950s. Blondiaux was named director for Britain.

Now that we know the numbers, we want to know who’s in the wings? Chanel’s co-chairmen and brothers Alain and Gérard Wertheimer, each own half of Chanel and have $14.1 billion fortunes, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. But Alain is 69 years old and Gérard is 68—even billionaires can’t buy more time on earth!


Sales: 3.8 Billion

Sales: $3.8 billion

Chanel dominates every top fragrance list, but even an iconic scent like No. 5 can benefit from a reinterpretation. Enter Chanel No. 5 L’Eau, which is billed as a youthful scent intended to appeal to millennials. Chanel No. 5 L’Eau, created by Olivier Polge, contains top notes of lemon, mandarin, orange, neroli and aldehydes; middle notes of rose, ylang-ylang and  jasmine; and a drydown of cedar and white musk. According to sources, the introduction of L’Eau helped Chanel’s fragrance sales rise 2%.

Earlier this year, Barbara Menarguez was named executive vice president of fragrance and beauty, succeeding Julien Gommichon, who left the company. Menarguez has been with Chanel for 19 years, and most recently served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of fragrance and beauty. Prior to Chanel, Menarguez worked at Lenox as director of finance and Deloitte as senior audit manager. Chanel was one of her audit clients when she was with Deloitte.

This Spring, Chanel introduced Hydra Beauty Micro Crème, which it calls the first cream based on camellia micro-droplets. Chanel says its research has taken a new step in the area of microfluidics for cosmetics, resulting in an emulsion that is more orderly than conventional technologies. Droplet stability is secured by a complex coacervation process which combines two polymers interacting together in the manner of “molecular velcro tapes” to form an evanescent membrane. These calibrated and stable droplets burst instantly upon application with outstanding moisturizing efficiency for the skin, according to Chanel.

For the consumer, Hydra Beauty Micro Crème delivers a “sensory cascade”  where the fresh feeling of water is followed by the richness of the oil. Hydra Beauty Micro Créme was created with the help of Capsum, a startup company, based in Marseille, with expertise in microfluidics.

“This is an example of successful co-development between Chanel and a start-up,” said Christian Mahé, senior vice president of Chanel Beauty Research and Innovation.  “This microfluidics innovation platform is capable of broadening the scope of possibilities—new technologies, new visuals, new textures—to develop tomorrow’s cosmetics.”

The company has high hopes for the recently launched Gabrielle Chanel EDP, which has been described as an “abstract floral.” Following a limited launch earlier this summer, the scent will reach 10,000 doors around the world. Company executives expect Gabrielle Chanel to crack the top 10 best-selling global scents. If it does, Gabrielle Chanel is sure to be flanked by Coco and No. 5!


Sales: 4 Billion

Sales: $4.0 billion

Privately held Chanel doesn’t report sales, but analysts estimate the company has enjoyed a CAGR of 13% for several years. That’s because in countries around the world, a little black dress and a bottle of No. 5, are the very definition of style and luxury.

In January, Maureen Chiquet left as chief executive, “due to differences of opinion about the strategic direction of the company,” according to a Chanel statement. Chiquet had been at the helm since 2007. Chanel chairman Alain Wertheimer who, along with his brother Gerard, owns Chanel, replaced Chiquet as CEO. Still, the company praised Chiquet while showing her the door.

“During her nine years as global CEO Maureen Chiquet oversaw the successful international expansion of the House of Chanel, enhanced its luxury positioning and timeless image, and grew the business in all categories. She also established a truly global organization and enhanced the culture and leadership of the company,” the company’s statement said.

“Chanel is grateful for what Maureen has done to bring Chanel into a new era of its development, in close collaboration with the leadership team, and wishes her continued success.”
Industry sources speculated that Chiquet left after some missteps in China. Chanel was the first major luxury brand to lower prices in the country due to wide gaps in foreign exchange and tariffs.

Getting back to business, Chanel rolled out a new fragrance called Boy Chanel earlier this year. The unisex scent was inspired by Arthur “Boy” Capel, an English polo player and businessman who carried on a nine-year affair with the iconic Coco Chanel.


Sales: 2.9 Billion

Sales: $2.9 billion

Privately-held Chanel remains one of the biggest beauty brands in the world. But the company got a bit smaller earlier this year, when it sold its Bourjois color cosmetics brand to Coty in exchange for about 15.4 million shares of Coty’s Class A common stock. Bourjois has a portfolio of color cosmetic products that are sold through approximately 23,000 points of sale in more than 50 countries around the world, with leading positions in some of the most attractive markets for color cosmetics, such as Western Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Bourjois was founded in 1863, by French actor Joseph-Albert Ponsin, who developed the line for his fellow actors.


Sales: 2.4 Billion

Sales: $2.4 billion

The term iconic gets tossed around a lot these days—iconic automobiles, iconic design—heck, there’s even an iconic bag of potato chips (that would be Terra Chips, apparently). But when it comes to brands, Chanel really is, well, iconic; in part, because the brand has been around for nearly 100 years and, in part, because the company keeps itself exclusive, aspirational and yes, limited.

In an interview with Yale, her alma mater, CEO Maureen Chiquet noted when it comes to luxury brands in general and for Chanel in particular, less is more.

“In luxury, sometimes you are trying to sell less so you don’t vandalize the product,” she explained. “The bottom line is on the quality and beauty of the image and the designs we have and customer service. Do that and the profit will come.”

Slow and steady wins the race and the hearts of luxury consumers, too.

“At Chanel we have a lot of stable products like No. 5 and the handbag,” Chiquet pointed out. “It’s not always churn and burn. We have a stable product that we want to maintain.”

Maintaining a balance between an overall vision and appealing to local markets is critical to the company’s long-term success, she said.

“We are the ultimate house of luxury; defining style and creating desire now and forever. That vision is the same in the US, France, China or Japan,” insisted Chiquet.

Of course, there are differences among consumers especially when it comes to beauty. As a result, Chanel adapts products such as skin care and color cosmetics, to meet the unique needs of consumers who have different skin types or different skin tones. And while many beauty companies are rethinking their rush into emerging markets, Chanel’s entry has been more measured.

“Emerging markets play a pretty big role; especially if you consider China to still be emerging,” she said. “But our core markets of the US, Europe and Japan play an important role in our growth.”

That’s because clients in established markets still clamor for Chanel products, and several categories, such as skin care, still offer plenty of growth opportunities. And of course, there’s always a new generation of consumers ready to step up for that classic Chanel bag.

While emerging markets differ from each other in terms of custom, culture, regulations and language, they share a desire for luxury goods.

“There is still a lot of wealth acquisition going on,” said Chiquet. “They really want that badge, the bag. But as they learn more about our products, they resemble our stable markets more.”

But whether the Chanel customer is in New York or New Delhi, for Chanel, it’s all about the client.

“In a way, we don’t really look at markets any more. Our clients are traveling all the time,” she explained. “So we’re looking at the clientele and not just the markets.”


Sales: 2 Billion

Sales: $2.0 billion (estimated)

Two years after consumers started returning to the luxury market, Chanel is well positioned to take advantage of their thirst for exclusivity. While other luxury houses watered down their brands to appeal to a wider range of shoppers, Chanel managed to maintain that aura of exclusivity—even if it meant arriving late to the party in China.

During a presentation in New York City earlier this year, CEO Maureen Chiquet said that although Chanel has a dozen stores in several mainland China cities, the company will not be rushed, noting that things in China, especially distribution, move quickly and that she was determined to find quality locations.

“We don’t have the urgency to expand,” she told the audience. “We are an exclusive brand and we want to stay exclusive. So it’s strategic to not be everywhere.”

Not when you’ve built a multibillion-business on the shoulders of the world’s best-selling fragrance, Chanel No. 5. The juice has been promoted by beauties such as actresses Catherine Deneuve and Nicole Kidman. Last year, Chanel broke new ground by signing Mr. Angelina Jolie, aka Brad Pitt, to promote the timeless classic. But the ad, which has been called rambling and inscrutable, didn’t fare so well. Much better is a video on the history of Chanel itself, which can be found at the company’s website.

On the skin care front, the company hired well-known dermatologist Amy Wechsler who identified five skin care mistakes women make:

  • Getting too little sleep;
  • Neglecting to cleanse and moisturize;
  • Tanning;
  • Overdoing exfoliation; and
  • Skipping sunscreen.


Sales: 1.8 Billion

Sales: $1.8 billion (estimated)

The fine fragrance industry made a big comeback in 2011 and few companies were better positioned to take advantage of the surge than Chanel. After all, prestige fragrance sales rose 11% last year, according to The NPD Group, Port Washington, NY. Sales of fragrances that retail for more than $100 jumped 57%. Fragrance accounts for more than half of Chanel’s sales, followed by makeup and skin care.

Earlier this year, Chanel won a Fragrance Foundation FiFi award in the Women’s Media Campaign for Coco Mademoiselle, which just happened to be the best-selling women’s scent in the US last year, according The NPD Group. Coming in at No. 4 was Chanel No. 5. On the men’s side, Chanel’s Bleu de Chanel was the No. 2 selling scent.



Sales: 1.4 Billion

Sales: $1.4 billion (estimated)

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.


Sales: 1.5 Billion

Sales: $1.5 billion (estimated)

This year, Chanel No. 5 celebrates its 90th anniversary, but age hasn’t had any negative effect on the fragrance and it remains the best-selling scent in the world.

In fact, the company maintains that every 30 seconds, a bottle of Chanel No. 5 is sold somewhere in the world. Ernest Beaux created the juice, the world’s first floral-aldehyde. In a nod to environmentalism and consumer spending patterns, Chanel now offers a refillable EDT of No. 5.

Bleu de Chanel Makes its Debut
For guys, look for a new men’s scent this fall. Bleu de Chanel will be its first major male fragrance since 2004’s Allure Homme Sport and its first men’s masterbrand since 1990’s Egoïste. Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorcese directed the advertising spot.

Company executives predict the woody aromatic (Chanel’s first) will be one of the top three men’s scents in the U.S. in the fourth quarter and will enter the top five globally in 2011. Bleu de Chanel will be sold in approximately 2,000 department and specialty stores in the U.S., according to industry sources.

Sales: 3.3 Billion

Sales: $3.3 billion

Luxury goods companies have taken a hit in this economy, but just how much of a blow is hard to tell with privately held firms like Chanel. Happi’s sources estimate the company’s cosmetics and fragrance sales for 2008 were $3.3 billion.

Last month, the company opened its first dedicated fragrance boutique in Selfridges, the London department store. The goal of the space is to offer shoppers the chance to experience the luxury brand’s entire perfume collection including those fragrances that had only been available in Chanel boutiques.

Audrey Tautou has joined the legendary league of women who have represented Chanel No 5 including Nicole Kidman, Ali McGraw, Carole Bouquet, Lauren Hutton and Catherine Deneuve.

But Chanel isn’t just about showcasing pretty faces—it takes its R&D seriously. At the end of 2008, Chanel and Dassault Systèmes, a leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, signed a strategic partnership. Their first joint project, which is based on the analysis of light, was co-developed by Chanel Research and Technology and the Dassault Systèmes Design Studio. The goal is to validate new hypotheses and concepts in the beauty sector using virtual software solutions. The project will be finalized in 2010, according to Dassault. Other opportunities are also being explored, with an emphasis on virtual simulation and modeling that will pave the way for innovative breakthroughs in skin biology and cosmetics.

Sales: 2.5 Billion

Sales: $2.5 billion (estimated) for cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances.

Nothing says luxury like Chanel; the privately held beauty firm continues to be a perennial favorite and trendsetter internationally. For example, Chanel has a knack for creating the most sought-after nail lacquer shades, such as the cult classic, Vamp. In May, the company unveiled the Robertson Collection, four limited edition nail polishes. Shades, which are $25 each, include LA sunrise (yellow), Melrose (pink), Rodeo Drive (purple) and LA Sunset (red).

In June, Chanel signed a deal with British actress Emma Watson, making her the new face of Coco Mademoiselle.

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