Coco Chanel was one of the most influential fashion designers of all time. Founded in 1913, her company Chanel today has annual sales of more than nine billion US dollars. Chanel is regarded as the woman who freed her sexual partners from their corsets.
In the 1920s she created the Little Black One, which initially caused outrage with its length just below the knee. She also created the Chanel dress, which was soon worn by business women all over the world. The Chanel Nº 5 perfume, which was launched in 1921, was a success for the company from the very beginning and is still one of the best-selling perfumes in the world today.
Coco Chanel was born as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel on August 19, 1883 in Saumur, Western France. She grew up in poor circumstances and when she was twelve, her mother died of tuberculosis. Thereupon her father gave her into the care of an orphanage. There she learned to sew.
After she was discharged from the orphanage at 18, she was taught for two years and then worked in a baby products shop. Besides she earned some money as a seamstress and tried to make a career as a singer. Although the latter was not crowned with success, it earned her the nickname Coco.
In 1906 Coco Chanel entered into a liaison with the rich industrialist’s son Étienne Balsan and opened a hat shop in Paris in 1909 with his financial help. Her creations were quickly in vogue and were worn by the city’s celebrities.
Coco Chanel grew up in poor circumstances
In 1910 Chanel opened another hat shop and three years later the fashion boutique Chanel Modes. The latter event was also the starting point for her company Chanel. The great success of her designs ensured that Coco Chanel was already debt-free and financially independent in 1916. The perfume Chanel Nº 5 became a huge success. It was launched in 1921 and is still one of the world’s best-selling fragrances today.
In 1939, Chanel dissolved her company and during the Second World War, she was displeased by her compatriots because she collaborated with the Nazis. It was not until 1954, at the age of 70, that she made her comeback in the fashion industry. This was initially viewed with extreme scepticism, but with the Chanel costume she created a garment that is now considered a classic.
The Chanel costume created by Coco Chanel is a real classic
Coco Chanel died in Paris on 10 January 1971 at the age of 87. She was buried at the Cimetière de Bois-de-Vaux in Lausanne, Switzerland. The gravestone was designed by her herself.
Her company was still able to celebrate some successes in the years after her death, but the favour of the buyers soon waned. It was only when Karl Lagerfeld became the company’s chief designer in 1983 that it once again became one of the most successful fashion labels in the world.
Quotes of Coco Chanel
Elegance is refusal.
In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.
I only drink Champagne on two occasions, when I am in love and when I am not.
Fashion changes, but style endures.
There are people who have money and people who are rich.
Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds.
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.
I don't do fashion. I am fashion.
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
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