Fashion fades, only style remains the same.
This famous quote belongs to one of the most talented fashion icons ever, whose net worth is 15 billion dollars. Coco Chanel, a creative French designer, changed the face of fashion not just during her era - the strong impact she made on the fashion world is present even today and will be felt for a long time in future. She created a real fashion empire of the 20th century, The House of Chanel.
She was born in 1883 in Samour in France, under the name Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. She lived with her father and his girlfriend. They did not have a permanent place to live. Her mother was a laundrywoman in the charity hospital. She died at the age of 31 due to bronchitis. Coco’s father left her in a shelter when she was 12. Feeling ashamed of her destitute childhood, she always invented untrue stories about her early years.
She stayed in the shelter for 6 years, where she learned to sew. After this period, she was working as a seamstress and as a singer in a cabaret. During this period, she got the nickname Coco¸ it derived from a song she frequently sang, “Qui Qu’a Vu Coco?”. As a woman with a high appreciation of money, in 1905 she settled with a wealthy bourgeois Étienne Balsan and enjoyed all the advantages of being a rich man’s lover. A few years after she met Balsan’s friend Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel, who helped her open a vending hat shop. An interesting fact is that Coco’s first customers were the former lovers of Étienne.
A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
First business steps
In 1910 Coco Chanel became a licensed hat designer and she opened her first boutique called Chanel Modes. But, she wasn’t feeling fulfilled until she started doing what she really dreamt of, designing women’s dresses. She had an interesting approach to work: she never drew sketches of her clothing, nor sew them. She would simply put the material on a mannequin and then she would just cut and shape it. She turned the world of fashion upside down and made possible what was unimaginable until then. Some of the clothing items that express her style are women tracksuit, women pants, dress shirt, beach pajamas… She even made short hair popular with women during times when they were “obliged” to have long hair.
Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.
The birth of No. 5
Russian perfumer Ernest Beaux gave to Coco 10 perfume samples; amongst which she chose the number 5. Her reason was a bit superstitious: “I always launch my collection on the 5th day of the 5th months, so the number 5 seems to bring me luck – therefore, I will name it No. 5”. This was the first time one fashion house launched a perfume to the market and it turned out to be a huge success.
Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future