Beyond the Label

Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms

Maureen Chiquet


Driven. Shy. Leader. Wife. Mother. We live in a world of categories—labels designed to tell the world, and ourselves, who we are and who we ought to be. Some labels we may covet, others we may fear or disdain; but creating a life that’s truly your own means learning to define yourself on your own terms.

In Beyond the Label, Maureen Chiquet charts her unlikely path from literature major to global chief executive of Chanel—highlighting her steep learning curve as a marketing trainee at L’Oréal in Paris, her rise through the merchant ranks at The Gap and Old Navy, and her stint as president of Banana Republic. Sharing the inklings, risks, and (re)defining moments that have shaped her exemplary career, Chiquet seeks to inspire a new generation of women, liberal arts grads, and unconventional thinkers to cultivate a way of living and leading that is all their own.

Through vivid storytelling and provocative insights, Chiquet guides readers to consider the pressing questions and inherent paradoxes of creating a successful, fulfilling life in today’s increasingly complex and competitive world.

Why should we separate art from business, feelings from logic, intuition from judgment? Chiquet asks. Who decided you can’t be determined and flexible, introspective and attuned, mother and top executive? And where does it state that standing unflinchingly in your vulnerability and embracing your femininity won’t make you stronger?

Wise, inspiring, and deeply felt, Beyond the Label is for anyone who longs for a life without limits on who she is or who she will become.


Maureen Chiquet began her career in marketing at L’Oréal Paris in 1985. She has worked at The Gap, helped launch Old Navy, and was president of Banana Republic before becoming COO and president of US operations of Chanel in 2003. In 2007 she became its first Global CEO, where she oversaw the business and brand’s worldwide expansion. She left Chanel in 2016 to focus on developing new leadership initiatives. She is a trustee to the Yale Corporation and a fellow of Yale University, where she graduated in 1985.