Gabrielle Chanel was born in Saumur, France, on August 19, 1883, the second child of a poor, unmarried couple. Her mother, who was always engaged in heavy labor, contracted tuberculosis at a very young age and died at the age of 32. The father abandoned his five children and was never heard from again. Chanel was abandoned in a convent. Chanel never spoke of her birth in public, and her reluctance to face her humble origins and unhappy childhood clouded her origins. Chanel attended a parochial school for poor schoolgirls, where she learned to sew.
Beauty and nobility
In 1905, at the age of 22, Chanel gave herself the stage name “CoCo” and began to sing in cafes. It was here that she met her first friend, Balesson, the son of a major capitalist. The following year, she moved into the Balson estate and became one of Balson’s lovers. Balesson led her into high society, paying for her store and introducing her to clients. After leaving the playboy Balesson, she meets Capa. Capa helped Chanel a lot both financially and spiritually, although she was still only his lover.
A bright future
In 1910, at the age of 27, Chanel opened a ladies’ hat store in Paris. The simple and durable hats she sewed quickly replaced the elaborate lace hats of the time and became the fashion mainstream.
In 1911, as business was getting better, Chanel moved her store to the Cumming neighborhood, which is still Chanel’s headquarters today.
In 1914, at the age of 31, Chanel was not satisfied with making hats and opened two fashion stores at the same time.
She designed a lot of innovative styles, the most classic than the “little black dress”, long sleeves, narrow shoulders, from the dress to the hem with a long X-shaped decoration, simple design makes the person wearing it look radiant.
Audrey Hepburn wore the little black dress in front of everyone’s eyes, and the “little black dress” became a classic.
She also designed women’s trouser suits, which freed high society women from complicated dresses and allowed them to shed their corsets and hemlines.
In 1921, at the age of 38, Chanel was introduced to the Tsar’s court perfumer by her lover, the Grand Duke Dimitri of Russia, and the famous NO.5 perfume came out, which became the most profitable product in Chanel’s history.
Marilyn Monroe once said：”I only smell Chanel No. 5 to sleep.” Chanel chose the number 5 only because she thought it was her lucky number.
In 1925, at the age of 42, Chanel began a relationship with the Duke of Westminster in England. The Duke of Westminster wanted to spend his life with Chanel, but she responded with dominance: “You have many duchesses, but Chanel has only one.”
In 1939, the Second World War broke out, but at the age of 56, Chanel got together with a German officer, and due to suspicion of espionage, she closed her store and took refuge in Switzerland.
Comeback at an advanced age
In 1954, Chanel saw her friend wearing a tight Dior dinner dress, which was a replica of the old corset, and the dress was so tight that one could barely breathe. She was so angry to see this corset replica reappear that, despite being 71 years old, she was determined to announce her comeback, and the classic camellia look was born, capturing the hearts of women once again.
On January 10, 1971, Chanel died in her room at the Ritz Hotel in Paris at the age of 88.
Chanel never married in her life, she had numerous lovers, she also created a great fashion empire and always pursued the life she wanted. She once said, “My life did not please me, so I created my own.”
The old Buddha takes over
In 1983, the Chanel group was succeeded by Karl Lagerfeld as fashion director and took Chanel to another peak. Karl Lagerfeld, known as the “Old Master”, always with sunglasses and dreadlocks, was the most famous of modern fashion directors and died on February 19, 2019, at the age of 85.