Fashion Designer Coco Chanel

Who would have thought that the elite Parisian couturier, Coco Chanel, would have based her success on the visions of a psychic? It was the number 5 that would bring her good fortune.thus, Chanel #5 was born.

Coco Chanel’s status as a successful entrepreneur began well before the launch of her signature fragrance on May 5, 1921. She was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on August 19, 1883 to Albert Chanel and Jeanne Devolle in Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France. (She wouldn’t be called “Coco” until 1905, following her performance of “Qui qu’a vu Coco dans le Trocadero” for a group of uniformed gentlemen.) After her mother’s death in 1895, her father left, leaving Coco to take residence at a convent school where she learned to sew. She first began designing hats for friends, which immediately caught the attention of the fashion elite.



With the help of two suitors, Coco Chanel opened her first millinery shop in 1909 at 31 rue Cambon in Paris, named “Chanel Modes”. She continued to be the “Chief Designer” of her label until her death on January 10, 1971. She revolutionized women’s wear with her design philosophy in which she told Harper’s Bazaar in 1923, “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” In the same year, Chanel introduced what would become her signature suit consisting of a boxy jacket, trimmed in black, accented with gold buttons and a knee-length skirt. In 1926, she modified the fabric to the classic tweed, inspired by her travels to Scotland and was heralded by Vogue Magazine for her distinguished “little black dress” as the “new uniform of the modern woman.”

Karl Lagerfeld became the Artistic Director for the House of Chanel in 1983 and changed the lines to a more intriguing design while keeping with the elegance that the label implies.