Written by T. Mastrota @broadstyles
When you see the interlocking CC monogram, how does it make you feel? Does this simple, yet elegant design bring you joy? Can you picture yourself wearing the logo on your shirt, sunglasses, or handbag? Do you ever think about the meaning behind the symbol that so many people wear so proudly? Or is it just another symbol to you that you can easily walk by without a second thought?
Designed in 1925 by the brand’s namesake and founder, Coco Chanel, this famous interlocking CC monogram is more than a symbol in the fashion world. Furthermore, this symbol is a representation of a worldwide recognized brand.
Have you ever thought about the meaning behind the identity of Coco Chanel? The most common theory behind the interlocking CC monogram is the assumption that it is simply a creative design using her initials. I found myself as well as many to be under this impression. Through recent exploration, I have come across many other theories of potential deeper meaning behind the letters of the logo.
Maybe it’s a symbol of love – CC, “Capel & Chanel”, designed to honor Coco’s lover and business partner Arthur “Boy” Capel. This theory appeals to the emotions of loyal customers who are charmed by a good love story. It is said that Capel’s own wardrobe was one of Coco’s primary inspirations for her collection, which makes this story even more intriguing.
Other theories come from reflecting on Coco Chanel’s childhood and where she grew up. She spent a part of her childhood living in the orphanage of the Aubazine Chapel in France. In the windows of the chapel there were curves that intertwined resembling the interlocking CC monogram of the Chanel logo. Could it be that memories of these curves in the windows from her childhood are what inspired her fashion brand? You may see a resemblance to the Chanel logo within photos of the winding circles in the windows of the Aubazine Chapel in central France and agree with this theory.
Lastly, there is one theory that the logo was inspired by the symbols in the Château de Crémat in Nice. This estate was owned by Coco’s friend Irene Bretz. When Coco started her new company, it is rumored that Bretz gave Coco permission to buse the symbol that represented the vineyard. This theory speculates that Coco did not design her own logo, but instead used a symbol she had frequently seen and liked.
Being Coco Chanel is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, I find it hard to believe that she didn’t design the interlocked CC monogram on her own. Next time you pick up a Chanel accessory, be reminded of the origin beyond the shelf or webpage. The Channel monogram alludes to a deeper meaning and story. The brand’s identity is empowered by your imagination and speculation in the overall mystery created by Coco Chanel.