5 famous links between Chanel and the sea


La Pausa

Legendary Parisian fashion house Chanel has long had a connection with the sea. From Coco Chanel opening her first fashion boutique in Deauville, France and taking inspiration from the surrounding sailors to current creative director Karl Lagerfeld hosting a #CruiseWithKarl dinner aboard a yacht in New York, the ocean has always held a special place at the heart of this coveted brand. Click through to see a history of Chanel and the sea…

La Pausa

On September 30, 1928, Mademoiselle Chanel purchased land overlooking the Med at Cap-Martin on which she would build her stunning La Pausa villa. Eighty-seven years later to the day, the brand announced it had reacquired the villa and would begin renovations to restore it in the original spirit of Coco Chanel.

Being the only of Chanel’s properties built to the designer’s exact specifications, the villa is of particular significance thanks to the guests who stayed there. Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau and Paul Iribe frequently visited Chanel and the Duke of Westminster at the home while celebrity yacht fans including Winston Churchill, Jackie Onassis and Greta Garbo stopped by when it was later sold to Emery Reves.


Breton tops

Breton tops are such a yachting wardrobe essential that it’s hard to believe that they haven’t always been part of our every day attire. However, it was in fact Coco Chanel who first popularised this sailing staple as part of her revolutionary sportswear-inspired jersey clothing for women in 1913. As she continued to open boutiques in glamorous seaside locations, such as Biarritz, their popularity grew and grew until they became the ubiquitous must-have we know today.



For many modern vacationers, part of the draw of a luxury yacht cruise in the Caribbean or Mediterranean is the chance to lounge in the sun and turn a beautiful golden brown. Back in the 1920s, however, pale and interesting was much more the thing – proving you were wealthy and upper class enough to shelter inside rather than labour in the sun.

That is, of course, until Gabrielle Chanel came along. After spending a little too long in the sun on a Mediterranean cruise, Chanel and her socialite friends were photographed disembarking in Cannes sporting light tans – and where Chanel went the world followed.


The clothes

Of course, with all these connections to the sea, over the years much of this nautical-inspiration has been seen in Chanel’s fashion collections. From spring/summer 1994’s Clueless-style take on the house signatures – where bikinis came out in full force and tweed skirt suits were worn over Breton stripes – to the deck-ready espadrilles that took over every fashion-lover’s Instagram accounts this summer, this enduring influence is here to stay.


The make-up

Mademoiselle Chanel first added lip colours and face powders to her popular line of perfumes in 1924 and they were an instant success. Fast forward to the present day and this highly coveted range features all the skincare and beauty essentials a girl could want – including SPF foundations for superyacht vacations and a blush/bronzer compact featuring the iconic lines of Chanel’s favourite Breton top.