This blog entry was written by the talented Morgan Sutherland – meet her on Twitter @MorganDaisies
Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, better known as Coco Chanel
19th August 1883 – 10th January 1971
Fashion Designer, Founder of Chanel
Coco Chanel is perhaps one of the most famous names in the fashion world. After all, who hasn’t at least heard of the phrase “little black dress”, more commonly known now as a “LBD”? One of Chanel’s most influential moves in the fashion industry was to cast away with the then-more fashionable corseted silhouette, favouring a looser fit that became wildly popular during the twenties.
What you may not know is that Chanel was a self-made woman, who came from a poor background, having been sent to live in a convent with her sister, Julia, after her mother died. Her father was unable to take care of her, and also sent her two brothers to work as farm labourers.
Chanel’s first foray into design was as a milliner, or hat designer, from a boutique in Paris called “Chanel Modes”, which translates to “Chanel Fashions”. Her designs grew in popularity, leading Chanel to open boutiques in Deauville and Biarritz, and then, finally, she bought the entire building where her first premises was located, 30 rue Cambon, and opened her flagship store in 1921. From there, Chanel’s brand exploded onto into our fashion consciences. Today, her legacy can be seen everywhere, from women’s casual fashions, to creations from Chanel’s current creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, and her famous advice: Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.