9 Reasons Coco Chanel Is My She-Ro

January 29, 2010 by  
Filed under inspiration

 

  1. Coco was a poor, skinny woman who was not considered beautiful. But she used what she had to become one of the most recognized names in the world. And, for the most part, she did it her way.
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  3. Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was born in 1883 in a peasant village in France. It is notable that Chanel’s parents were not married and she was thus considered illegitimate. Her mother died when she was 12, leaving her father, a traveling salesman, to care for 5 children. Coco lived in an orphanage for 6 years while her father worked, and this is where she learned to be a seamstress.
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  5. When Chanel turned 18 she struck out on her own. She tried to make it as a cabaret singer and worked in a tailor shop while awaiting her big break. She became the mistress of textile heir heir Étienne Balsan, who showered her with expensive gifts.
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  7. At first Chanel designed hats as a hobby, eventually moving into Balsan’s apartment in Paris and opening her first shop in 1908. The Balsan home was a meeting place of the hunting elite of France and the gentlemen brought their fashionable mistresses along, giving Coco the opportunity to sell the women decorated hats. She sold fashionable raincoats and jackets but was not successful.
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  9. In 1910, Coco got the backing of her next lover, Arthur “Boy” Capel, to try again and open another shop. This one was more successful; Coco then opened another shop in Brittany. Her third shop was in Deauville, in 1913.
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  11. Celebrated French actresses began wearing Chanel’s hats, and she used her social connections to aristocratic families to propel her reputation higher. Women during the World War I era came to accept her view that women were supposed to dress for themselves and not their men. Chanel’s couture house opened in 1919. Chanel No. 5 was created in 1921.
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  13. During World War II, Chanel closed her shops, stating that war was not a time for fashion. From 1945 to 1954 Coco lived in Switzerland. Her first collection after the war was not a big success in Paris because she had been a Nazi sympathizer. She had had an affair with a German officer in 1941.
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  15. Chanel had affairs with some of the most influential men of her era yet she never got married. When asked why she did not marry the Duke of Westminster, she replied, “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster. There is only one Chanel.”
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  17. The Chanel house received the Neiman Marcus Oscar for fashion in 1957. She revolutionized the fashion industry by going “back to basics”, incorporating elegance, class, and originality in her designs. For example, she introduced the “little black dress” to the fashion world in 1926, the “Chanel suit”, and her signature leather bag with a chain handle.

 

Quotes by Coco Chanel:

 

  • “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
  • “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
  • “How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.”
  • “The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you!”
  • “I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

 



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Comments

One Response to “9 Reasons Coco Chanel Is My She-Ro”
  1. Iris says:

    This is great. I am glad you shared this with me. It is nice to read the history of world famous people. Understanding that they just set out to discover their personal destiny. I do not think the Coco Channel said, “I will be famous,” but instead she said, “I will be the best Coco.”

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