How did Coco Chanel change history

Coco Chanel - She liberated fashion and women

The French designer shaped the fashion of her century like no other; "Coco" became a legend during his lifetime. She celebrated her international breakthrough in 1923 with the perfume "No 5", of which Marilyn Monroe said she wore nothing but a drop of it at night. Today, more than 75 years after its launch, Chanel N ° 5 is still the best-selling perfume in the world.

Coco Chanel took the men's wardrobe as a model and thus emancipated women's fashion. With her line she helped the equal and working woman to her fashion expression for the first time. Coco Chanel abolished the corset, in 1926 propagated the "little black dress", the costume jewelry, shortened the skirts to a scandalous length just below the knee and designed knitted swimsuits that ended at the thigh length.

She came from a poor background

Coco Chanel was born on August 19, 1883, the second daughter of a street vendor in Saumur in Auvergne. Chanel grew up in poor circumstances. When she was twelve years old, the mother died. The father, who received custody, placed her and her older sister in the care of an orphanage. At the age of 16, Chanel was released from the orphanage. She started out as a seamstress and later moved to Paris to perform as a singer and dancer in various nightclubs. Here she was given the stage name "Coco", which after a while also became her nickname.
From 1909 she worked as a milliner in Paris. It was her wish to be able to work as a hat maker. A wealthy admirer provided her with the financial means in 1910, and so she was able to start producing hats of her own design in the studio of a residential building. The sales of her work went very well, so that she was able to open her first hat shop in Paris after a short time. When she also designed clothes on behalf of customers, completely new, simple clothes were created.

The clothes should be comfortable

Her way of working is also unusual and new: Gabrielle Chanel does not draw drafts of her models, but attaches them directly to the customer or a tailor's dummy so that she can take the movements of the body into account. What counts for them are straightforwardness, comfort, natural freedom of movement - and at the same time the desire to seduce.

At the beginning of the 30s, Gabrielle Chanel reached the height of her fame. Her haute couture house spans five buildings on rue Cambon and will employ up to 4,000 women.
With the declaration of war, she makes the decision to close her fashion house and to flee to a friend in the Pyrenees. After the war, Gabrielle Chanel lived in seclusion in Switzerland and only returned to Paris for short visits.

In 1954, at the age of 71, she reopened the boutique on Rue Cambon. Your first collection is received with reluctance. But Mademoiselle Chanel, as she always wanted to be called, stubbornly sticks to her credo of simplicity. In 1971 she died at the age of 88 in her apartment in the Hotel Ritz.

Today, the house of Chanel, which is still privately owned and whose artistic director is Karl Lagerfeld, is one of the most sought-after fashion brands in the world.