Who comes to your mind when you think about all-time fashion legends? I can confidently say that Coco Chanel has to be one of them. Every woman, has at least once in her lifetime, dreamt of owning a Chanel product be it the signature perfume, Chanel 5 or the stylish handbags and apparels. Coco Chanel wasn’t just ahead of her time. She was ahead of herself. Even after more than 40 years since her death, her legendary tales are still alive. She revolutionized the fashion for women by her risk-taking attitude and gave a whole new definition to the word fashion.
Check out these eight intriguing facts about the designer that made her a controversy and a legend.
Coco isn’t her real name
Even though the rest of the world knows her by her childhood nickname, Coco, she was actually named Gabrielle Chanel. The nickname coco was given to her when she started hanging around in cafés, sang and performed to the men there. They were the ones who first called her “Coco” as she used to the sing the Qui qu’a vu Coco dans l’Trocadéro? song.
Coco Chanel started off her Fashion Career with Hats
Coco Chanel is as relevant today as she was when she started her first store in 1910. While early on she initially wanted to work in entertainment, she soon realized that her talents lay elsewhere. She opened her first shop in Paris in 1913 with the help of one of her male admirers. It was in 1915 that she reached new heights when she opened her Maison de Couture in Biarritz and her fashion career took off.
She introduced Pants for women
Coco Chanel was always the one who wanted to stand out from the crowd. She was someone who made her own style and never followed the herd. She revolutionized the fashion for women of her time by challenging the established canons. One of the revolutions brought in by her was when she proposed pants for women in European culture of dresses, skirts, and corsets. She was also the first fashion designer to design feminine suits which she believed would empower women in addition to bringing other liberalizing changes in women’s fashion.
She was the one who first introduced the little black dress
In addition to freeing women from traditional fashion and making it more comfortable for them, Coco Chanel also introduced the much loved ‘little black dress’ in 1926. Her risk-taking attitude made her a true trendsetter. Vouge described the dress as “a sort of uniform for all women of taste” and rightly predicted it to be something that would be appreciated by women all over the world. She was also the one who promoted the color Black. Before coco’s casual use of color black for clothing, black clothes was limited to funerals. Coco loved the color black and thus introduced the use of it in day-to-day life. With her trademark suits and little black dresses, the legendary designer created timeless designs that are popular even today.
Chanel did not limit herself to just clothing
Along with creating her mark in the field of clothing and apparel, she also embarked her name in the field of fragrances. In 1921, Coco created her immensely famous and the brand’s first perfume, Chanel-5. This was the first perfume to be named after the designer. The number five was selected because Coco believed it was her lucky number.
Age was just a number for her!
Coco continued to inspire millions when she re-opened her fashion house in 1954 at the age of 71 after it had been closed for almost 15 year during the World War. She decided to re-open her fashion house because she was “dying of boredom” as reported by actress Marlene Dietrich.
Coco Chanel lived in a hotel Suite for more than 30 years
Coco Chanel lived in the hotel Ritz of Paris for more than 30 where she died in 1971 at the age of 87. The hotel has still kept the suite that coco used to live in with many of her original decorations and personal items. It would be a dream come true for any fashionista to be able to spend time in that suite.
Famous Last Words
Coco Chanel died on January 10, 1971. She died in her hotel room shortly after coming back from a walk with her friend Claude Baillen. The most interesting fact about the famous designer’s death was her last words. It is believed that her final words were “You see, this is how you die.” Now that’s not a bad way to go, is it?
Coco Chanel was not merely a fashion designer, she was an inspiration for many. She threw out a life jacket for women not once but twice, during two distinct periods. She not only made fashion more comfortable for women but also introduced much loved and revolutionary trends. She created her own empire in a world ruled by men. She is a perfect example of an empowered woman. How can someone think of the fashion industry and forget the work of this legendary designer!