Today in History (1971): Fashion Legend Coco Chanel Dies

The name Coco Chanel is synonymous to fashion and style. Determined to succeed and full of vision, Coco Chanel set out to change the world of women's fashion as we know it.

Image via Week

Coco Chanel was a pioneer when it came to trailblazing fashion for women. Chanel created more than just fashion trends as she helped create the textbook guide for fashion designers and wannabes all over the world. Chanel did so with talent, determination and good taste.

The famed fashion designer was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on August 19, 1883 in Saumur, France. Her early life was far from the glitz and glamour of the life she knew well during the heyday of her career. Chanel, along with her two younger sisters grew up in an orphanage. It is in the orphanage that Coco learned how to sew.

Coco Chanel, the fashion icon Images via Week

Chanel started out selling hats in her first shop on Rue Cambon in 1910. Although what really jump started her career as a fashion designer was a dress that she fashioned out of an old jersey. People started noticing the dress she wore and asked her where she bought it. Chanel recognized the opportunity and offered to create dresses for women who asked her about it.

One of Coco Chanel’s most enduring creations, the Little Black Dress as worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Marilyn Manson Images via The Rooster

During a time when women’s fashion was restrictive with the popularity of corsets, Chanel’s design and completely opposite approach to fashion became a hit among women who wanted a fashionable piece to wear. Everyone wanted to wear Coco Chanel’s signature clothes as well as the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume that also started a trend in the designer perfume industry.

“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” – Coco Chanel

Images via Succulent Synthesis blog and Chanel

Every new product that came out of the Coco Chanel shop became instant hits. From the quilted Chanel purse to the little black dress and Chanel suit, fashion products just kept coming at consumers and they sold like hot pancakes.

Her clothing line continues to thrive and is believed to earn hundreds of millions in sales every year. Chanel was a game changer in field of fashion. She helped break earlier notions of women’s fashion that was restrictive in nature. The famed designer and fashion icon died on this day in 1971 in her room at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. She was 87.

All information used in this article were sourced from Biography, Wikipedia and Met Museum.

Like this article? Check out more stories from our Today in History and Throwback Thursday series.

written by cheeo on 2014-01-10 in #lifestyle #today-in-history-series #fashion-icon #chanel #coco-chanel

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