As we saw when the label sued a salon and spa owner from Indiana who named her business "Chanel's Salon," Chanel is ruthless when it comes to protecting their name and brand and preventing others from profiting off of it. The Fashion Law brought to light the case of another young woman who may be battling it out with the fashion house over control of the @chanel Instagram handle.
TFL reports that Chanel Bonin, a 20-year-old from Vancouver, Canada, recently had her Instagram account disabled for two weeks, possibly due to an intellectual property infringement claim. TFL came across Bonin's account when searching for the official Chanel account, and suspects that the sudden disabling of the account by Instagram may have come as a result of some of Bonin's posts. Previously, there were a couple of images posted that could have confused others into thinking she was associated with the brand, which have since been deleted.
Bonin's account was eventually reactivated, but she fell victim to an alleged hacking the next day. The hacker renamed Bonin's account to @chanel827372, and took over the @chanel name. She has since finally regained control of the handle from the hacker, but it's unlikely that that will be the end of the story.
It's not uncommon for people to "cybersquat" on social media handles with hopes of eventually being bought out by a big brand or company. However, it seems like in Bonin's case, she was just lucky enough to grab the name when she signed up back in 2011. It's likely that Chanel the brand has been trying to take over her account for a while now, and is now using Instagram's property rights claims system to finally do so. We'll have to wait and see if Bonin can retain control over her account, or if this is only the beginning of a longer dispute.