Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel

20 Feb

Coco Chanel. The queen of style. The queen of fashion.

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.”
– Chanel.

The founder of one of the worlds largest and most important fashion houses was born in Samour in 1883. She is known for inventing the term “little black dress” (lbd) and  for her signature perfume Chanel No. 5. Women would not wear trousers if it weren`t for Chanel. She invented the modern style of dressing in the 1920`s.


Her mother died when Chanel was 12. Her father left her and her five siblings. She spent six years at an orphanage, where she first learned how to sew. At the age of 18 she left the orphanage and went to Moulins to be a cabaret singer. She performed in the towns Moulins and Vichy and she got the nick name Coco. She became the mistress of the young textile heir Etienne Balsan. She worked in a tailoring shop and started to make hats as a hobby. After a while she left Balsan and hooked up with his friend Captain Arthur Edward Capel. He financed her first shop.

In 1910 she became a licensed hat maker (modiste) and opened the boutique Chanel Modes in Paris. Her career as a hat maker bloomed when the famous actress Gabrielle Dorziat modelled her hats.

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
– Chanel.

Important years:
1913: Established a boutique in Deauville.
1915: Established a boutique in Biarritz.
1919: Registered as a couturiere. Established her maison de couture .
1920: Introduced to the famous composer Igor Stravinsky by the  ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev.
1939: Closed her shops because of World War 2.
1954: Returned to the world of fashion.
1971: Died.

Signature style:

The striped sweater


The Chanel 2.55 bag

The Chanel suit



The Chanel No. 5 perfume


Check out a Vogue video from her apartment in Paris.

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
– Chanel.

Prestel: “50 Fashion Designers you should know”


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