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10 Things You Didn't Know About Iconic Fashion Designer Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel

June 04, 2020 | by Iyin | 0 Comments

Everyone has a story. Every fashion entrepreneur has a story. A story about personal life, a story about friends and family, and a story about the business that all fuses together to form one big story. When all is said and done, it is this one big story that we'll be remembered for. 

The fashion industry is a beautiful place to be in and one that has many beautiful works of art in it. Behind these beautiful artworks are people with that one big story. Now, we're not about to go into that one big story, but, here are some things you didn't know about Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, the Founder of the Chanel fashion brand.

The Chanel Fashion Brand

Before we go into facts about the woman behind the brand, let's talk a bit about the brand, shall we? The Chanel fashion brand was founded in Paris, France in the year 1910 by Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, popularly known as Coco Chanel.

The luxury fashion company offers a range of Haute couture clothing outfits, high and fine jewellery pieces, handbags, shoes, eyewear, makeup, fragrance, and skincare products. The brand is one that is popular all over the world for its high-quality products that make anyone wearing them feel classy and beautiful, and for its Chanel No. 5 perfume. 

Things You Didn't Know About Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel

1. Coco was Not her Real Name:

Even though most of the world knows her as Coco Chanel, Gabrielle Chanel was the fashion designer's real name. Coco was a nickname she most likely got from her time as a singer. 

2. Gabrielle Started her Business with Hats:

At the start of her business in 1912, shop Gabrielle Chanel opened a hat shop where she designed customised hats for the glamorous woman. Her hats, as opposed to many, used simple designs instead of the over-the-top ornamentation many went for.

3. She had Humble Beginnings:

Although she died a wealthy woman, Gabrielle Chanel came from humble beginnings as the daughter of a peasant and street vendor. After the death of her mother, she and her sister were sent to an orphanage run by nuns which is where she learnt to embroider, sew, and iron.

4. She Didn't Like Mini Skirts:

Chanel once claimed that she found the miniskirts look indecent and an 'exhibition of meat'. She was more drawn towards putting women in pants, which she thought were a practical option for women. 

She believed pants were good for all occasions including beach outings.

5. She was the First Designer to Create Stylish and Comfortable Clothes:

Back in her time, women's clothes were made with corsets in them to give off that hourglass look, but Gabrielle Chanel decided to go against the norm to create beautiful yet comfortable clothes with no corsets in them. She also introduced embroidery and crepe in addition to the Jersey fabric she used and banished heavy ornamentation for her clothes.

6. She was Credited with the Invention of the Little Black Dress (LBD):

Black, which is one of the signature colours of the brand, was Coco's favourite colour as a child because of the monastery she grew up in. After a photo of a black dress Chanel made was published by Vogue in 1926 as 'Chanel's Ford', the little black dress was born for many.

The Little Balck Dress was created with the intent to provide an affordable and easy-to-wear option for women. Over the years, this look has become a staple look we all love.

7. She was the First Designer to Make Suits for Women:

Chanel is often credited with being the first designer to put women in pants, however, she was also the first designer to put women in a suit. The lining of the signature tweed jackets Chanel makes has a chain sewn into it to help it maintain a military-style shape at all times.

8. Her Favourite Number was 5:

Gabrielle Chanel's favourite number, right from when she was a young girl, was the number 5 and so when her perfumer brought to her perfume samples, she picked the fifth sample. This sample is what is now known as the Chanel No. 5 perfume. Chanel No. 5 went on to become one of the best selling and most recognised perfumes in the world.

9. She Created the Chanel Logo Herself:

The logo which first appeared on bottles of her signature Chanel No.5 perfume was created by the designer herself. There are many speculations as to what inspired the logo, however, but it has remained the same since 1924.

10. Her Chanel 2.55 Bag made it Acceptable for Women to wear Shoulder Bags:

In 1955, Chanel introduced the 2.55 Chanel shoulder bag which changed the norm of women carrying purses in their hands. The sleek bag, which gets more expensive with each year, featured quilted leather and a signature gold chain for the strap, making it glamorous for women to wear a bag on their shoulder.

There you have it, some of the things that made up the big story of Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel. Gabrielle Chanel was truly a strong and phenomenal woman who changed the many of the norms in fashion and was credited for some of the most iconic inventions in the history of fashion. 


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