One would think that the all holy Haus of Chanel wields enough power to accrue the @chanel Instagram handle. But baby, this is 2016 and the internet is a war zone that has leveled the playing field. As far as the world wide web is concerned, it doesn't give a flying frick if you're Karl Lagerfeld or Karl Jacob, an self-described "entrepreneur father kiteboarder car guy" from San Francisco.
Since 2014 Chanel (as in, Chanel) has been operating under the Instagram handle @ChanelOfficial rather than the much simpler and sleeker @Chanel. Why wouldn't an esteemed fashion house worth billions of dollars just use its own name as its handle, you ask? Well, because it's currently occupied by a 20-year-old girl from Canada named Chanel Bonin, who's been on Instagram since 2011 and racked up almost 40 thousand followers. Ya snooze, ya lose.
According to The Fashion Law, Chanel is now feverishly fighting to get the rights to snag Chanel's precious handle. Her account has already been disabled, then reactivated two weeks later with two photos removed that may have misled people to think she represented the brand (e.g. a picture of a hairclip she received with her name on it and a drawing that featured Chanel's signature double Cs). While the fashion house is notoriously litigious about trademarks, Canadian Chanel appears to be winning this battle so far. Hey, at least they have the handle they want on Twitter.