Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why can't women be as free as men?

Paris, Pre-World War I
Gabrielle Chanel is running a fledgling designer hat business. Depression caused by matters of the heart prompt her to take a break in the sea side resort town of Deauville. There she sees all kinds of people - couples, families, aged, rich, working class – who have converged there to take a break. She sees the men moving about easily and having a whale of time. Women, on the other hand, seem to be constrained by their outfit and having a lot less fun.
She asks, “Why can’t women be as free as men?”
Off go the corsets, long layers of clothing and heavy material like fur. Her mind explodes with ideas. The sketch pad, scissors and the clothiers in Deauville are kept busy. She comes up with a style that shocks the populace at that time. She uses linen, a fabric that is considered inferior. Her style knocks of layers and the hemline shrinks. She also shrinks the cost making her dress extremely affordable. Fashion enters the workplace for the first time. The seeds of Coco Chanel are sown and the rest as they say is history.
Greatness begins with a simple question. The question spells the need clearly. The answer to this question is what results in great brands and great movements.  Very often we fail to come up with a simple question and resort to mumbo-jumbo that takes us on a convoluted path down the tubes. You know what I am talking about.

Fortunately for us, the two students below probably asked “How can people find what they are looking for easily on the internet?” 

 (Image courtesy: Chanel  & Google Founders)


  1. Have you seen the French movie Coco before Chanel? It's a must in case you haven't.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Charles I will. However, the above story is from the telefilm on Coco Chanel on the French channel TV5. It covered her life from birth and was beautifully made.