Biography of Coco Chanel



Biography of Coco


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"Fashion fades, only style remains the same." -Coco Chanel


Born on August 19, 1883, Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was born in Saumur, France. As a designer, Coco's tradmark is little black dresses and suits that are still popular today. The stlye icon is also known for her simple yet sophisticated looks that included pearls and other accessories.

As a child, Coco was put in an orphanage ,after her mother died, and was raised by nuns who taught her how to sew. Her nickname "Coco" started when she became a singer for a short period of time. Some say that she was called "Coco" because of one of the songs she sang at clubs. When Coco was about 20 years of age, she became involved with Etienne Balsan who said he would help her start a millinery buisness in Paris. She later left him for another man, Arthur "Boy" Capel, who was a wealthier friend of Balsan. In 1910, she opened her own hat shop in Paris and then added clothes later on after being asked where she got her old jersey that she had made on a chilly day. In the 1920's, her buisness went to all new heights when she created her legendary perfume Chanel No. 5. She also created new outfits borrowing men's wear style and making it more fashionable for women so they didn't have to wear tight corsets anymore. Chanel also created the famous little black dress around this time which revolutionized the fashion world.

Coco met a wealthy duke in the 1920's which lead to a long relationship between the two. He proposed to her and Coco's reponse was "There have been several Duchesses of Westminster- but there is only one Chanel!". With the Depression and World War II happening, Coco shut down her buisness because of the tough times. During this time she also had a relationship with a Nazi officer and some believed that she betrayed her country, this led her to leave France and move to Switzerland.

At the age of 70, Chanel returned to the fashion world, soon after winning back shopper all over the world. On January 10, 1971, Coco Chanel died at her apartment in the Hotel Ritz. Hundreds went to her funeral at the Church of the Madeleine to say goodbye to the fashion icon, many wore Chanel suits. After a little more than a decade after her death, Karl Lagerfeld took over her company to continue her legacy.






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