Chanel vs. Dior – Battle Of The French Classics
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Chanel vs Dior – two fashion giants, both Parisian brands with a cult following – but what are the differences between them and which brand is better?
Dior and Chanel are two of the biggest luxury houses in the world, known for their quality, rich history, and innovative designs that express style. Throughout the years, both brands have revolutionized fashion, making people all over the world covet them.
Still, there are some differences between these two houses, and you should be aware of them if you want to get their pieces for investment purposes.
In this article, we will dive into the differences between the two brands, from their histories to what makes them a good investment and fashion statement. This way, you should be able to come up with a profitable and fashionable conclusion.
Chanel vs Dior: The History Behind the Two Luxury Houses
To make an informed decision, you must start straight at the roots: the history of these two brands. This can tell you a lot about their potential, so let’s get started.
History of Chanel
Founded in 1910 by Gabrielle Chanel, a skilled couturier, Chanel rocked women’s fashion. Through her brand, Gabrielle created various kinds of womenswear, stunning accessories, and luxury items. Now, Gabrielle is widely referred to as “Coco Chanel,” a nickname she got while she performed in Paris as a signer.
Chanel’s designs were a signature point in women’s fashion history. At the beginning of the 20th century, women used to wear what was considered ladylike and feminine. This meant corsets and various other types of restraining clothing that prevented ladies from being comfortable and moving with ease.
Chanel wanted to free these women. She had a vision, and that was to create clothing that women could freely walk in. The trousers and blouses she added to her collection were viewed with skepticism and were considered scandalous at first, as wearing pants in the early 1900s as a woman could get you arrested. However, in time, the simple, flowing design caught on, and women appreciated the liberation she gave them.
History of Dior
Dior was founded in 1946 by the French designer Christian Dior. Still, Dior was only acknowledged as a corporation a year later, after the designer made a strong impression on his first show. For this reason, the year 1947 is recognized as the official opening year.
His Spring Summer Line of 1947 was originally named “Corolle & Huit.” This would change after Carmel Snow, Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief commented that “it’s such a new look.” From that point on, the entire collection became widely referred to as the “New Look.”
This “New Look” caught on pretty fast, bringing femininity and color back after the austerity of WW2. Clothes and materials were rationed during the war, so women did not have a lot to choose from. It took some time for the people to once more become accustomed to the amount of material used and the feminine details, but the silhouette became a great success.
Comparing Both Heritages: Chanel vs Dior
In a way, both Dior’s and Chanel’s heritage express the same thing: liberation. With that in mind, these two designers followed different paths. Dior went for exquisite design and femininity. His creations had various materials and patterns that were considered feminine, such as tulle and flowers, emphasizing the female form. The same details applied to jewelry and everything else that he created.
Chanel was the complete opposite of Dior, focusing on logical and simple designs that embraced comfort. While she had an eye for elegance, she added various masculine details to her clothing, as it made women feel empowered.
Differences between Chanel and Dior
Dior and Chanel have their similarities here and there, but connoisseurs need to know the differences as well. Here is where both houses may draw the lines.
In terms of exclusivity, Chanel is likely at the top of the chain as compared to Dior. Chanel has recently begun to place limits on how many products you can buy per year, stoking desire for each piece. For example, because of the blooming resale market, you can buy only one classic bag per year. Since there is no limit for the Dior lines, they are much easier to purchase.
You can also buy Dior bags online but you can only buy a new Chanel bag directly from the boutique. Read our article here about why Chanel does not sell its bags online.
Winner – Chanel
Both Dior and Chanel have relatively high price tags and were matched at some point. However, after recent price increases, Chanel became more expensive.
The average Chanel bag costs between $2,950 and $11,000, whereas Dior bags cost between $3,000 and $7,000. Dior also went through some price increases, but they were smaller compared to Chanel.
Winner : Dior
3. Resale Value
The resale values of both brands are directly connected to their exclusivity. Since Chanel bags are harder to come by than Dior bags, as well as more expensive, they have a better resale value. Dior has a good resale value as well, but it’s not as high as Chanel’s.
With both brands, the bags that hold their value the most are the classics: the Chanel Classic Flaps and the Lady Dior.
If you’re only looking at the resale value, it makes more sense to invest in a Chanel bag. Just look at he graph above where you can clearly see the huge price spikes of Chanel bags.
If we look at the preloved market, we can see that M/L Classic Flaps in good condition retail for $7,000 – $10,000.
So, if someone purchased their Classic Flap in 2017 for $5,900 and took great care of it, they can potentially resale it now for at least $1000 more! This is pretty extraordinary for handbags – the only other brand that is as great as keeping its value being Hermes.
Chanel items are ladylike, bordering on “classic simplicity.” The products focus more on functionality while remaining timeless.
Dior products also share a specific timelessness but were designed to express femininity and elegance. Where Chanel keeps simple aesthetics that allow you to match your items easily, Dior features an “extra-ness” that goes past your everyday look.
For instance, the Chanel Classic Handbag has a timeless simplicity that will be in style for years to come, whereas the Lady Dior piece focuses more on femininity and fashion trends.
5. Materials and Quality
Both Chanel and Dior are highly qualitative, using the finest leather and delicate craftsmanship. For their leather goods, both houses make use of calfskin due to its durability and lambskin due to its luxurious appearance.
Dior makes their handbags in Europe, most often in Italy and Spain. Chanel makes most of its bags in France and Italy.
Both brands hire skillful artisans to handmake their bags (although parts of the bags will be machine-made).
Winner: It’s a tie
Chanel vs. Dior: Which One Is Better?
It’s hard to say which brand is better. If you are looking for slightly lower prices and want to add a feminine touch to your outfits, then a Dior product can be a great purchase. However, if exclusivity and resale value are more important to you, Chanel may be the better choice.
No matter which brand you’re choosing you can be sure that you’re buying an exquisite bag from a brand with a rich heritage and craftsmanship.
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