Fremantle takes the measure of WhyNow’s ‘Coco Chanel’ documentary

Fremantle has acquired global distribution rights to Coco Chanel, a feature documentary from Gabriel Jagger’s WhyNow Studios exploring the story of the fashion icon.

The doc, which was produced for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer in the UK for broadcast later this year as part of the Arena strand, argues that Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, was the original influencer.

Chanel transformed women’s fashion as a designer whose influence is still evident today. Her designs called into question the role of women, sex and power, and ignited a whole new way of dressing. Yet her life remains shrouded in mystery.

Born into a rural peasant background in the 19th century and brought up in an orphanage run by nuns, Chanel went on to become one of the wealthiest woman of her age, through a combination of grit, graft and talent. Interweaving her improbable and often scandalous life and loves with her innovative, paradigm-shifting fashions, this documentary uses archive material and interviews to tell the story of the style icon.

The documentary is produced and directed by Hannah Berryman and executive produced by Janet Lee. It was commissioned for BBC Arts and BBC Two and iPlayer by Mark Bell, commissioning editor for Arena.

Céire Clark, senior acquisitions manager, international, at Fremantle said: “The life of Chanel is mysterious and fascinating; she became one of the richest women in the world before women in France even had the right to vote, which fits perfectly with the powerful stories we love to tell here at Fremantle.”

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