Coco Chanel


In the world of fabrics and sewing, there have been many relevant women who have worked as dressmakers. The seamstresses are those women who dedicate their lives to make, to make changes and create knowledge – based clothing design and sewing. One of these impressive women was Coco Chanel , a French-born dressmaker who was in charge of revolutionizing all fashion and haute couture in the interwar years .


Personal information

  • When was he born: 08/19/1883
  • Where he was born: Saumur, France
  • When he died: 01/10/1971
  • Where he died: Paris, France

Who was Coco Chanel?

Coco Chanel was a French dressmaker who revolutionized fashion by freeing the female body from the use of corsets and unnecessary adornments , helping the female sex to express the yearnings for freedom and equality in the 20th century.

  • Biography of Coco Chanel
  • Coco Chanel’s personal life
  • Death
  • Studies
  • What did Coco Chanel do?
  • Style
  • Relationship with art
  • Who were your parents
  • Personality
  • Physical characteristics
  • Importance
  • Coco Chanel quotes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Presence in popular culture

Biography of Coco Chanel

Gabrielle Bonheur , better known as Coco Chanel was born in France , in a small town called Saumur in 1883. After the death of her mother, she was admitted to an orphanage and in this place she learned to embroider by hand , sew and iron. . When she turned 18 she was transferred to Notre Dame , a religious boarding school. Later, she decided to fight for her freedom and began her work as a seamstress and also dedicated herself to singing. Several years later, he managed to move to Paris where he bought the Galeries Lafayette.. In this place, there were a large number of hats which he managed to reform and sell with great success, thus starting his own line as a dressmaker .

After the First World War , he returned to Paris where he prospered thanks to the magazines and newspapers that spread his style. Despite this, he could not lift his signature so he decided to move to North America where he received help from Samuel Goldwyn . At the end of the Second World War she stayed living in Paris where she was also arrested, for this reason, she decided to go into exile in Switzerland .

Coco Chanel’s personal life

Coco Chanel fell in love with Étienne Balsan , a young man who belonged to the bourgeoisie and was with him for several years. It was he who taught her the luxurious life and the parties. He decided to elope to Paris with Arthur Boy Capel , who was one of Balsan’s best friends. After moving to North America, she had several romantic relationships with men such as the composer Igor Stravinski , Duke Dimitri , the Duke of Westminster and with the artist Paul Iribe , with the latter man she was very in love, however, he died of a heart attack shortly time after.


His death came on January 10, 1971 in a room at the Ritz hotel in Paris. He was 87 years old and suffered from various diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.


Some of her studies were carried out when she was admitted to a religious orphanage in Moulins, France . In this place they gave him training so that he could learn to read and write as well as so that he could find a decent job.

What did Coco Chanel do?

Coco Chanel is considered a true fashion icon . He managed to mix the masculine with the feminine through pants, flat shoes, hats and blazers. It eliminated the baroque style used by women full of corsets and dresses, thus liberating the feminine silhouette . It made the male haircut more popular, because in those times, it managed to make this type of cut more popular in women.

She designed and created clothing for working women in favor of insertion into the world of work, which gave women greater freedom . He shortened the feminine faults and began putting chains on the handbags. Medium heels and flat shoes on women were driven by her in order to turn women into a modern and independent person.

He also popularized the use of costume jewelery and jewelry, which at that time were considered only as a symbol of social status. He made tanning popular in summer and highlighted black as a sign of true elegance, putting aside the belief that this color should only be used on widows. He also promoted the sexual revolution defending above all the freedom to love regardless of sex or social class .

She was also considered the first female entrepreneur in the world which at the same time was mainly dominated by men. She was a pioneer in business and laid the foundation and motivation for other women to follow in her footsteps. It showed that elegance and good taste are not necessarily exclusive to the upper social class.


Coco Chanel’s style was elegant but at the same time comfortable , luxurious but simple because for her simplicity was also chic and very fine as long as excesses were avoided. The white color and black were basic to her and represented the absolute beauty. Her style was also very influenced by her life and by the people who had contact with her. The simplicity and simplicity in his styles were a reflection of his childhood. The jewels also became a very important complement in her style because for her they represented femininity. In the same way, it influenced the use of makeup as a way of emancipation in women.

Relationship with art

The artistic avant-gardes of the 20th century had an important influence on all of Coco Chanel’s designs. For her, art and fashion always went hand in hand as it was one of the best ways to express freedom and elegance at the same time .

Who were your parents

Daughter of a very humble family, she was the illegitimate daughter of the couple formed by Albert Chanel and Jeanne Devolle . His parents later married, however, his father was an abuser and exploited his mother even though she was ill. Her mother was found dead on February 16, 1895. Because of this, her father sent her to an orphanage along with her two of her sisters.


Coco Chanel’s personality was always characterized by being very ambitious , she was considered by many as a true leader . Always demanding with everything he did, he was also very perfectionist , a bit calculating and even opportunistic . However, she was extremely intelligent and knew very well what she wanted in life, her rebellion helped her during the most difficult moments of her life and her feminist thoughts made her pass with relative ease the limitations and criticism against women that were until certain point very typical of the time.

Physical characteristics

She was a short, slim woman with a slight voluptuous build, with short, straight black hair.


Coco Chanel was an important woman whose legacy continues to this day. She is a true icon of fashion and thanks to her, they managed to eliminate many customs that did not help women to feel empowered . She was the creator of the female tailored suit, costume jewelery and chain belts. His works are preserved over time and he has been a source of inspiration in haute couture .

Coco Chanel quotes

Some of his most recognized phrases were the following:

  • The bravest act is being able to think for yourself. Aloud.
  • If you were born without wings, do nothing to stop them from growing.
  • The only way to be irreplaceable is always to be different.
  • Don’t waste time bumping into a wall hoping to turn it into a door.
  • It triumphs with what you learn.
  • If you’re feeling sad, put on more lip paint and attack.


In 1957, Coco Chanel received the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award and was also appointed as a member of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Presence in popular culture

In popular culture, several documentaries have been made about his life and triumphs. A movie was also created under the name Chanel Solitaria, which starred Marie-France Pisier. Some time later, North American television was in charge of producing the film Coco Chanel, where her life as a child was told.

Chris Greenhalgh was commissioned to write a novel in his honor in which he recounts Coco’s life and how she managed to break into the fashion industry. Many plays on Broadway pay tribute to him today.

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