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Coco Chanel Biography -The legend
Coco Chanel The Legend
Coco Chanel the style icon..
Born to very humble beginnings, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel's rise to fashion notoriety is no less than historic. The second of 5 children, Coco spent much of her young life in a Catholic monastery after her mother died where she learned to become a seamstress. By the time she was old enough to leave the orphanage, she started working for a tailor.
The signature logo
It was in this shop that she met a French millionaire who opened her eyes to the “good life.” While living with him, she developed an interest in designing hats. By the time their affair was over, she has progressed to designing fashionable jackets and raincoats, and she opened a shop in Paris to sell her designs. The shop wasn't successful, however, and she was forced to close it. She wasn't discouraged, though; if anything, it made her all the more determined. She opened a second shop in Brittany. Celebrated French actresses of that time wore her hats, and her reputation started to soar. In 1913, she opened a third shop in Deauville where she started serving the aristocracy.
When World War II broke out in 1939, Chanel closed her shops because she felt that fashion wasn't appropriate at such a tumultuous time. During this time, she fell in love with a Nazi spy. She was later accused of espionage and was arrested for war crimes, but was pardoned by the British Royal family. She moved to Switzerland in 1945 and returned to Paris and the fashion world 9 years later. Unfortunately, her relationship to the Nazi was something that Parisians couldn't forget, and her new collection was all but ignored in Paris. The Americans, however, enthusiastically embraced her designs, and the United States became her largest market.
For Coco, simplicity translated to elegance. Because of this belief, her designs were simple and comfortable, as well as revealing. She used fabrics that were considered “poor” back then (like jersey) and upgraded them into something spectacular. The Chanel jacket, in particular, was so iconic that it hasn't changed much at all, several decades hence.
N 5 Chanel Perfume
Coco was also the first designer to attach her name to a fragrance. The result, of course, is Chanel No. 5, now considered to be a timeless, iconic fragrance that will never die. It was launched in 1921 under Parfums Chanel in collaboration with Pierre Wertheimer. At that time, Parfums Chanel and the Chanel label were separate, but after Coco's comeback in 1954, they were all united under the Chanel company.
To date, the Chanel brand created everything from haute couture to prêt-à-porter to fragrances to costume jewelry. Its quilted leather handbag line with its famous chain handle has become the ultimate status symbol for celebrities. It has a loyal following, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, and Lily Allen.
Chanel Fashion House offers untouched style.
Coco died at the age of 87 in 1971. It is said that she was still designing at the time of her death. Pierre's grandson, Alain Wertheimer, took over the company in 1974 and persuaded designer Karl Lagerfield to take over the label's design demands.
The Movie in the making, starring Shirely Mclain as Coco, Sep-2008..go see or check for the DVD release and then the French film 'coco avante' Premiere spring/summer -2009
Even with Coco gone, everything she created lives on in Chanel as if she never left. Without a doubt, Coco Chanel made fashion. No, scratch that. Coco Chanel IS fashion.