Coco Chanel, born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (9 August 1883 – 10 January 1971), French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand and the only fashion designer listed on Time’s magazine list of the most 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
She is credited with liberating women from the Constraints of the “corseted silhouette” and making the sportive, casual chic popular, as it became the new feminine standard. Her talent wasn’t restricted only to clothing design, but extended to jewelry, handbags and fragrances. Her signature Chanel No. 5 is the favourite perfume of women all over the world even now.
Ambition, Energy, Inspiration
Some say that these are the words that best describe Coco Chanel, traits that she applied in both her professional and social life, as well as her personal life. She said: “Success is most often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable.” Times haven’t changed that much since her era, as connections have remained as important now as they were then. She was an accomplished socialite and due to the relations she made through her social life, she achieved incredible success as a businesswoman. Still, some comments were made along the years about her controversial life choices and reputation due to her behaviour during the German occupation of France in World War II, but even then, her character was strong: “I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all.” Even so, people today think of her as the most important Lady of Fashion and of course, they have good reason for that.
Ahead of her Time
The way she blended the male and female parts to obtain new style for women that afforded them more freedom of movement and why not, new ways of expression, makes her one of those people who are said to be ahead of their time. What we see in today’s fashion shows are distant echos of what Coco Chanel once did herself. Different stages, different people, same feelings. Due to this, she became associated with that modern movement going around in her time, her name appearing along with those of Picasso, Stravinsky, Cocteau and Diaghilev. All were determined to let go of the old ways of thinking and doing things and finding new ways of expressing and being themselves, as she used to say: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
Movies and Books
Many books have been written not only about her, but about the empire she left behind and is still in the top fashion houses of the world. In 2008, the 125th anniversary of her birth was celebrated and a new interest in her appeared. In the span of a few years, three new biographical movies have been produced: Coco Chanel (2008), Coco Before Chanel (2009) and Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009).
Many things have been left by her and one of the things people still remember and repeat are her “quotes”:
“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.”
Author Bio: Jordon, Known in the fashion world as a fashion adroit. For more than a decade he has worked for many clients as a fashion consultant and also as an author for various fashion websites to propel their concepts beyond reality with sublime flare, hitting the fashion jackpot every time. He has a keen sense of fashion and an unparalleled creative eye for exactly what is right in fashion. Currently his contribution can be seen on Thetshirtman.