“A woman should be two things classy and fabulous”
Wise words from one a true fashion genius, Coco Chanel born in 1883(or possibly 1893 – she often changed her true birthday!!) changed the way women dress, she drew from her childhood in an orphanage and the austere dress of the nuns that taught her as a child.
She worked her way up from a shop assistant to haute couture legend – her key to success – vision, discipline, the ability to assert oneself and not taking no for an answer.
Chanel had many lovers over the years and one or two of them financed her business but she was one of the first self-made women in business, a rare thing in the early 20th century. The Duke of Westminster even declared his love for her by putting her iconic double C’s on every lamppost in the Borough of Westminster – take a look the next time you pass by in London??
She embodied the modern woman and her designs were as avant-garde as she was.
Chanel was ahead of her time – when the fashion was for women to flounce around in frills and corsets she gave them freedom. Her designs borrowed from the wardrobe of her lovers in tweed, jersey was revolutionary, these kind of fabrics had not be used for women’s clothing before.
In 1925 she designed her signature cardigan jacket and the following year the Little Black Dress. Chanel created one of the best selling fragrances of all time in 1922 with the launch of Chanel No 5 which still accounts for 70% of the market today!
Chanel closed her house at the outbreak of war only to open again in February 1954 aged 71!!!! And worked every day – walking from her suite at The Ritz to 31 Rue Cambon until her death in 1971.
A true fashion legend and inspiration to women everywhere.