It’s been three days since you passed away and honestly, I am so speechless. Although I have never met you in person, I felt that you were meant to be in my life since I was a child.
Growing up, I saw my mother wear Chanel since I was a baby. Before my mother purchased the tweed two pieces, she started small with a gold charm bracelets and leather trimmed chain belts that bore the brand’s logo. Then, she slowly added more belts to her collection by stocking up on a rhinestone belt alongside a wide logo gold chain belt. Apart from belts, she started collecting bags of every color, texture and size. Whether it’s a matte lilac Classic, chocolate brown croc mini tote or a basic black velvet clutch with a tassel, each bag always added a touch of luxurious elegance to an outfit. After the bags and jewelry, my mom started collecting a smorgasbord of jackets, t-shirts, skirts and tops to the point where I couldn’t reach the back of her closet. Looking back at my mom, I realized that you transformed her from a meek housewife to a confident fashion queen.
Although I yearned to wear her Chanel collection, I was too young to wear it as my mom didn’t want teenage me to grow up too fast. In fact, she’d rather have me wear her unbranded hand me downs or my grandma’s homemade clothes than to touch her precious Chanel collection.
Finally, I got my chance to wear Chanel when my father bought me a quilted faux pearl strapped handbag and long pearl and resin necklace for my 20th birthday. For my 20-year-old self, I felt that I didn’t deserve to wear them. Without much understanding about the value of a Chanel accessory, I randomly looked up the infamous ankle bag on The Real Real four years ago. Then, I Googled the patent leather vanity bag. Much to my surprise, I was shocked to learn that these archive pieces ran up to a four figured price tag. I learned that regardless of design or year, every Chanel piece is a heirloom connected to a storied house with a history of making women feel confident, classy and fabulous.
Now that I’m building my design career with baby steps, it’s so hard for me to picture a world without you. (Side note: I’m crying as I type this!) While we know that no human is perfect, I am so thankful that you want to step things up by including sustainability in fashion. As someone who wants to reduce environmental waste in an era of fast fashion, you have inspired me to make fashion fun while being ethically mindful of how we make and consume things.
Last but not least, the world has lost an angel, but heaven’s gained a virtuoso.
Feature image courtesy of Instagram @chanelofficial