Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel (1883 – 1971) was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist philosophy, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion.
Chanel was born on 19 August 1883 in the small city of Saumur, Loire Valley, France. She was the second daughter of travelling salesman Albert Chanel and Jeanne Devolle. Coco was born in a peasant village.
School holidays were spent with relatives in the provincial capital of Aubazine, where female relatives taught Coco to sew with more flourish than the nuns at the monastery were able to demonstrate
In 1913, she opened up her first shop which sold a range of fashionable raincoats and jackets. Situated in the heart of Paris, it wasn't long before the shop went out of business and Chanel was asked to surrender her properties. This did not discourage her; it only made her more determined.
Her hats were worn by celebrated French actresses, which helped to establish her reputation. She said, "A woman can be over-dressed, never over-elegant." Coco knew very well that style comes not only from apparel, but also from attitude. Today, CHANEL creates apparel, accessories, fragrance, makeup and skin care products that give women and men the freedom to feel and look their best.
Mr S. Sutton