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Born on August 19, 1883 as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the woman admired for her trademark designs and petite French dresses, was not served life on a silver platter. It was anything but a glamorous entry into the world, but she made it happen.
Coco Chanel was raised in an orphanage run by the church and during her childhood, was taught by the nuns to sew. The name Coco was born from her days as a young singer, and it is believed to be rooted from the French word cocotte which means a “kept woman”.

At the age of 27, she opened her first shop selling hats with the help of a rich man she had met, Arthur “Boy” Capel. Ten years later she launched her iconic perfume, Chanel No. 5, the official Chanel suit and little black dress – the latter of which she had experimented on her own, making dresses out of old jerseys.

Her fashion concept on the collarless jacket and fitted skirt was truly revolutionary and became an emblem of French sophistication, paired with the long, luxurious feel of pearl strands. Chanel always said that luxury must be comfortable, “otherwise it is not luxury”.  She was one of the key designers to salute the corset culture and allow women to feel free,
feminine, and liberated.

Chanel crossed paths with many eligible men, wealthy and influential, who added sparkle and color to the course of her life, both professionally and personally. Among them was the duke of Westminster, Igor Stravinsky, and Winston Churchill.

World War II brought difficult times to her career and she was forced to shut down her business. She found refuge in an apartment at the Hotel Ritz at Place Vendome with the help of a German military officer, a relationship that was viewed by the public as betrayal. She found refuge in her country home and the mountains of Switzerland.

Years later, at the age of 70, Chanel returned to the fashion spotlight and wowed the world with her feminine, edgy designs. In 1969, Katharine Hepburn starred in Coco, the Broadway musical that brought the designer’s life to stage. In 1971, Coco Chanel passed away, in her apartment at the Hotel Ritz, Paris. Despite the line of leading men, she never married. With the humor that so defined her, she confessed, “I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird”. In the 1980s, Karl Lagerfeld decided to continue the Chanel legacy; today he serves as the Creative Director and the brand still generates millions in sales every year.

Words of Coco Chanel
“Perfume is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion…that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure..”
“The most courageous act is to think for yourself. Aloud”
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”

Born on August 19, 1883 as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the woman we all grew up to admire for her trademark designs and petit French dresses, did not have a live served on a silver platter. It was anything but a glamorous entry into the world of fashion, but she made it happen. Coco Chanel was raised in an orphanage run by the church and during her childhood, was taught by the nuns to sew. The name Coco was born from her days as a young singer, and it is believed to be rooted from the French word cocotte which means a “kept woman”.
At the age of 27, she opened her first shop selling hats with the help of a rich man she had met, Arthur “Boy” Capel. Ten years later she launched her iconic perfume, Chanel No. 5, the official Chanel suit and little black dress – the latter of which she had experimented on her own, making dresses out of old jerseys.

Her fashion concept on the collarless jacket and fitted skirt was truly revolutionary and became an emblem of French sophistication, paired with the long, luxurious feel of pearl strands. Chanel always said that luxury must be comfortable, “otherwise it is not luxury”.  She was one of the key designers to salute the corset culture and allow women to feel free,
feminine, and liberated.

Chanel crossed paths with many eligible men, wealthy and influential, who added sparkle and color to the course of her life, both professionally and personally. Among them was the duke of Westminster in the early 1920s, Igor Stravinsky, and Winston Churchill.

World War II brought difficult times to her career and she was forced to shut down her business. She found refuge in an apartment at the Hotel Ritz in Place Vendome with the help of a German military officer, a relationship that was viewed by the public as betrayal. She found refuge in her country home and the mountains of Switzerland.

Years later, at the age of 70, Chanel returned to the fashion spotlight and wowed the world with her feminine, edgy designs. In 1969, Katharine Hepburn starred in Coco, the Broadway musical that brought the designer’s life to stage. In 1971, Coco Chanel passed away, in her apartment at the Hotel Ritz, Paris. Despite the line of leading men, she never married. With the humor that so defined her, she confessed, “I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird”. In the 1980s, Karl Lagerfeld decided to continue the Chanel legacy; today he serves as the Creative Director and the brand still generates millions in sales every year.

Words of Coco Chanel
“Perfume is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion…that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure..”
“The most courageous act is to think for yourself. Aloud”
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”

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