Coco Chanel, from dire poverty to the fashion world

Gabrielle Chanel, also known as, Coco Chanel, is one of the most famous French fashion designers and businesswomen in the world, and the founder of the Chanel brand.

Chanel was born on the 19th of August 1883 in dire poverty. After her mother passed away, her father shuffled her off to an orphanage.

Her harsh childhood had instilled resourcefulness and survival instincts in her, which were the keys to Chanel’s success.

Although she was not a big lover of sketching and sewing, she’s become quite established in the fashion world. She put all her unused materials to good use and designed them for the rich.

“Success is most often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable”

Her career in fashion began when she became familiar with a wealthy French officer who taught her how to conduct with the society of his wealthy friends.

The '20s was the new era of uncorseted freedom for women.

Coco Chanel designed simple clothes for women, which was exactly what they were looking for. She introduced the tricot sailor frock, the turtleneck sweater, the pullover, shortened skirts, and heels for comfort, flattened chests to create a lithe, boyish look.

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future"

In 1920 she asked a perfumer to create some scents for her Spring showings. He presented her with two series, one numbered from 1 to 5, and the other 20 to 24.

Chanel chose No.5, which has become the most famous perfume in the world, “Coco Chanel No 5”. In 1953, Pierre Wertheimer, owner of the perfumes, asked Coco to resume designing No. 5 perfume due to the high boost in sales.

Despite the high competition and the seasonal excitement during this period, Chanel's perfume was a reliable touch to fashion.

By the 1960s, Coco Chanel refused the most beloved fashion of the season: the miniskirt. She said, “Now I know why men don’t like women anymore.”

She insisted on keeping the hemline of her iconic skirt suits where it had always been just below the knee.

“Some people think luxury is the contrary of being poor. No, it is the contrary of vulgarity.”

Chanel made her success by the very simplicity of her fashions. The straightforward design and the usage of ordinary fabrics are part of its charm.