We all know her as Coco Chanel, but this wasn’t her original name. She was Gabrielle Chanel. She only became “Coco” after being given the nickname by soldiers in the audience while singing on stage.
Coco Chanel became very rich and famous during her life, however her childhood was a humble one. She was the daughter of a peasant street vendor and was born poor. After her mother died, she was sent to an orphanage in a convent, where she stayed until the age of 18. It was here that Gabrielle learnt to embroider, iron and sew.
Coco Chanel started her fashion career by designing hats and opened her first shop in Paris in 1913. In the 1920’s, she introduced the famous, Little Black Dress. She wanted to make available affordable and easy-to-wear apparel. Her designs, so elegant yet so comfortable and practical, freed women from wearing corsets. In addition, she dared to shorten skirts so that the ankles could be seen!
In 1921, she created her first perfume, Chanel No 5. It was the first fragrance to bear the name of a designer, and was accompanied by the number five because Chanel had been told by a fortune teller that this was her lucky number.
In 1954, aged 71, Chanel reopened her fashion house after it had been closed for 15 years during the war. She told the actress Marlene Dietrich it was because she was “dying of boredom”.
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Source : thegaurdian