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Chanel vs Dior

dior, chanel, perfume, watches, luxury, brands, cosmetics, Chanel No.5, J'adoreForbes recently published a list of the world’s most desirable luxury brands as decided by the public. It used Nielson to conduct an online survey of 25,000 consumers in 48 countries. Gucci topped the list, but Chanel came second. Dior was fifth.


The House of Chanel was founded by Gabrielle Bonheur Coco Chanel in 1909 in France. In the 1920’s, she introduced the ‘little black dress,’ greeted by Vogue as the ‘new uniform of the modern woman.’

The brand is now headed by designer Karl Lagerfeld. Apart from couture and fragrances, Chanel also has watches, jewellery and other accessories. The company has about 100 boutiques worldwide. Chanel’s latest brand ambassador is Emma Watson, who has been reportedly signed on for $6m for a two year gig. The Harry Potter actress will be taking over from Keira Knightley.

A comparatively later entrant into the business, Christian Dior, a French designer, opened a fashion house in 1947 at the age of 30 in Paris. The next year, his full skirted ‘New Look’ was a sensation. In 1957, Dior appeared on the cover of Time magazine with his famous, left-handed scissors.

Christian Dior Couture designs haute couture, and luxury fashion- watches, eyewear and accessories. Dior, which operates more than 200 boutiques worldwide, also has a 42 percent stake in luxury goods giant LVMH. Currently Bernard Arnault chairs the company.

The brand has had its share of celebrity. Princess Diana carried the ‘lady Dior’ handbag on her wrist in ’95, giving it iconic status. Eva Green, Monica Belluci and Sharon Stone are some of the more recent brand ambassadors. (Dior dropped Sharon Stone from its advertising campaign in China few months back, after her comments about the Sichuan earthquake. She had said that the quake could have been the result of bad karma - a kind of spiritual justice - because of China’s treatment of people in Tibet.)


The Christian Dior Group announced revenue of around $6.5bn in the first quarter of 2008, recording a 5 per cent revenue growth from last year.

Chanel being a privately held company, finances are not known, but Forbes estimated that its brand value is around $8.67m. At the end of 2007, Chanel’s president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, said that last year was the company’s best in terms of couture sales, with 20 per cent more dresses produced than the previous year.

Middle East

Both have outlets in Dubai. In 2006, Dior established an office in Jebel Ali, which is the regional headquarters for the Middle East, Africa and India. Last year, it opened a new boutique in Dubai and one in Jeddah.

Chanel opened a make-up studio at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai in 2006, the sixth of its kind worldwide. In the same year, there were allegations against Chanel, that highly sophisticated counterfeit fragrances had been shipped to Dubai from Russia, and that they were being sold here. The Chalhoub group, the local distributors for the company, denied the charges, and Dior promised to look into it.

Chanel No.5

Chanel No. 5 is one of the most popular perfumes in the world, and topped the charts for many years since its launch in 1921. The perfume is so called because Coco Chanel apparently chose the fifth sample out of those given by the perfumer Ernest Beaux. Made of ylang-ylang, Grasse jasmine, May rose, sandalwood, vetiver and vanilla, the No. 5 was made most popular by Marilyn Monroe. A No.5 ‘Film’ featuring Nicole Kidman was released in 2004, and the 180-second ad apparently cost $42m to make.

While Dior’s J’adore and Miss Dior Cherie don’t exactly match up to No.5’s fame, they are the brand’s best selling and most popular names.


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