Chanel has announced that 2017 will be the Year of Gabrielle for the house. They have decided to explore the identity of their founder before that time when she became Coco and was still just known as Gabrielle...
Chanel famously hated her nickname "Coco" but accepted it as one of the burdens of fame and success. She also, when she was Gabrielle, destined herself to becoming a milliner, her core passion but later explained that affirmation of her craft came from couture, and so that she stuck to what worked, although she confessed that path to have been her plan B.
The brand sees a parallel between Gabrielle and today's Millennials. Both brands of women refused and still refuse to be pigeon-holed. As global president of fragrance and beauty at Chanel Christine Dagousset said,
"No. 5 is more about femininity and accomplishment. What Mademoiselle Chanel has is this whole paradox of being vulnerable and invincible...and impertinent. Gabrielle is really who she was [as Gabrielle]. We really want it to be the expression of who she was at her core as a woman whose values are so modern today...to feature who she was before she became Coco. We've done a lot of research with Millennial women around the world and you see very clearly they don't want to be put in boxes. They want to live their own lives, they want to be themselves, they want to choose their destiny."
Gabrielle the perfume is said to be an "abstract floral", which is going back in essence to the personality of No.5, albeit without being a flanker to it. No. 5 L'Eau is.
Gabrielle eau de parfum composed by Olivier Polge is a new, separate pillar expression of what it means to wear a perfume by Chanel for contemporary women, inspired by the spirit of rebellion that Mademoiselle Chanel harbored even when she was coiffed with the fashionable and feminine l'Auréole hairdo. There is a giant visual and moral leap from that period to the look she is known for.
Her itinerary as a young woman has been shown to be a bit ambiguous, in particular in relation to her reliance on men, but ultimately, she did create a very consistent vision of her own. Even during the Occupation, her relationship with a German officer brought her troubles after the war, but she was able to affirm anew a strong identity as a couturière.
A three-minute film entitled "Gabrielle, a Rebel at Heart" will mark the beginning of the advertising campaign of Chanel's year of Gabrielle. It is said to be,
"a fast-paced ode to the founder's audacity and her convictions about female empowerment, daring and freedom."
The fragrance launches in June 2017.