“A woman who had ruled the fashion industry for almost six decades. the woman who senses the fashion and revolutionized it. A woman who knows how things work and she did it exactly. Here is story of Coco Chanel, her hat, chanel no. 5 perfume and the famous little black dress.”
Quick Detail –
Original Name – Gabreille Bonheur Chanel Fame Name – Coco Chanel Born – August 19, 1883, Saumur, France Died – January 10, 1971, Paris, France Worked as – Fashion designer Known for – Her famous revolutionary fashion ideas.
Brief Background –
Just like most of the heroic personalities, Coco also born in a poor family in France. Her mother died when she was too young. Her father abandoned her to an orphanage.
When she becomes 18 years, she worked as Café Singer. Gabreille got her famous name “Coco” while working as Café Singer.
Having an exceptional appeasing personality she had been associated with a series of wealthy men in 1913, one of them has provided financial assistance to her in the opening of a millinery shop in Deauville, France.
She had revolutionized the fashion industry by keeping women and their comfort in the center.
Now we explore more about her ideology and personality with her thoughts –
“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”Coco Chanel
The fashion industry in the 19th century was the men’s dominated industry. Designing of clothes in that era was complicated and uncomfortable for women such as Petticoats and corsets.
Chanel designed dresses that are comfortable for women and provide a luxury look as well.
Some of her inventions in the fashion industry were Chanel suit, the quilted purse, costume jewelry, perfume, and the famous “little black dress”.
“As long as you know men are like children, you know everything.”Coco Chanel
“ Women have always been the strong ones of the world. The men are always seeking from women a little pillow to put their heads down on. They are always longing for the mother who held them as infants.”Coco Chanel
Chanel was the woman who knows she is a woman. She exactly knew how to convince or appease someone. She had affairs with many wealthy men. One of these men had financed her during the initial days of her fashion designing business.
She knows how things work and she did that in her own ways. Although she had affairs with many wealthy men but she never married anyone of them.
She even had friends in politics. Winston Churchill, who was then chancellor of the Exchequer and later become the prime minister was a friend of Chanel. She met Churchill through her then-lover “Duke” who was one of the wealthiest men in the world.
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”Coco Chanel
Chanel always had a unique personality that appeases everyone.
Once a famous French actress of that time “Gabrielle Dorziat” visited her hat shop. She instantly becomes a fan of Chanel’s hats and sparked a trend. Later in Chanel’s life, a hat becomes a signature accessory which she rarely wore off.
Chanel had always a different mindset. She tried things which never have been tried in the past. And everything that she had started become a trend. Either it is striped shirts, perfume, menswear as womenswear, the famous little black dress, hats.
Once Chanel visited the opera house with short hairs which looks like a boy’s haircut. Its something which was never seen before as fashion for women. It becomes a trend after that and women start liking it.
“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.”Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel is famous for its iconic perfume i.e, “ Chanel No. 5”.
Chanel worked with perfumer Ernest Beaux to create a scent. Ernest had provided a few samples to Chanel. Sample No. 5 was liked by Chanel. In this way, the perfume named “Chanel No. 5 ( It is also said that number 5 was Chanel’s lucky number).
This perfume becomes one of the highest revenue generator product of Chanel industries.
“My friends, there are no friends”.Coco Chanel
She had been an independent woman. Although she had many affairs but never married anyone throughout her life.
Here is the story which justifies why she said that “my friends, there are no friends”. She had made a business deal to launch perfume Chanel No. 5 in department stores in 1924 with Pierre Wertheimer. She wants her name ‘Chanel’ on the perfume bottle. It happens but Chanel industries got only 10 percent on the profit. Most of the profit received by Pierre Wertheimer i.e, 70% and 30% of the profit received by Galeries Lafayette, who was the broker in this deal.
Coco Chanel took the case in the court which stretched a decade long.
She had been alleged of being a connection with Nazi and also spying for them during world war II.
During world war II, she leveraged her Nazi connections and tried to use Aryan laws to push Pierre Wertheimer and his brother (who were Jewish) out of her business.
More than a decade later, during World War II, this old friendship was used by the Nazis to try to ally with England.
“I am not young but I feel young. The day I feel old, I will go to bed and stay there”.Coco Chanel
At the age of 71 year, she reopened her fashion industries which had been closed for 15 years due to war.
On 10 January 1971, after returning from a walk with her friend Claude Baillen, Coco Chanel died on her bed in the hotel Ritz. Her last words to her maid Celine were, “ You see, this is how you die”.
She was so famous that many movies and T.V Dramas have been made on her life.
Learning from Coco Chanel’s Life –
When you decide what you have to do. You just need to focus on that only. Coco a child from a poor background didn’t get much leverage to get an education. She learns about cutting and sewing when she was in an orphanage.
Live your life for your dreams. Chanel never compromised her dreams with anyone. Although she had several affairs but she never got married. She extends her business in different segments.
Time doesn’t remain the same, It changes from time to time. During world war II, Coco Chanel was forced to shut down her business for 15 years. But she again returns at the age of 71 years.