Coco Chanel: The Life and Style of a Fashion Icon

Named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, the name Coco Chanel is universally recognized along with her signature ‘double c’ logo. The classic brand has made its mark in fashion history with its fashion pieces representing the classic woman.

Who is Coco Chanel?

Born in France in 1883, Gabrielle Chanel soon became an orphan with what seemed to be a disappointing future. Every penny she made, she worked hard for. It was during her early twenties and her four year brief gig as a caf�© and concert singer that she adopted the name Coco.

Coco Chanel got into fashion by becoming a milliner opening up her first hat shop in 1920. It was with a little help from one of her friends that she was able to launch Chanel No. 5, named after her favorite number, in 1922. This staple Chanel perfume still remains profitable decades after. Her other fragrances, Chance, Allure, and Coco, also seem to never go out of style.

In 1925, the signature Chanel cardigan emerged. We can give all thank Ms. Coco Chanel for the two piece sweater sets that seem to never go out of style yet emerge in different forms by different designers. In 1926 the “little black dress” was invented changing the fashion world forever. Not only was this color altered from being seen as a color of mourning, but this refreshingly new concept of having a central black piece that can be worn to many events on many occasions carries through into the 21st century.

World War I put a halt to many businesses including the fashion industry for a couple of years and it was during this time that Coco Chanel did her part serving briefly as a nurse to injured soldiers. It was not long after that Chanel would return to fashion with a strong comeback bringing couture designing pieces made up of natural and casual clothes along with accessories for women.

The Chanel Style and Cosmetics

Not many realize that if it was not for Chanel, there may have never been any pea coats or bellbottoms. She had the knack for knowing what women buyers wanted before they actually did. Chanel was able to be the first to design the timeless pant and skit suits, pleated skirts as well as introducing the triangular scarf as a valuable fashion piece. Her signature purses can be recognized by the braiding and chain like designs. Using gold chain straps on her purses are what set her a past from other designers and some have even mimicked this trademark. If it was not for Coco Chanel, the knit jersey may have never been considered a fashion fabric and there may not have been the wide acceptance of fake pearls.

Like many designer who followed after her, Coco Chanel adopted skin care and cosmetic products into her line of work. She was the first to ever produce artificial suntan lotion. All the products in the Chanel cosmetics line, Precision, are made with only the finest ingredients. Taking eight years to develop, the fragrance and colors are mixed with fresh flowers, picked only fifteen minutes prior to processing.

As a hard working woman, Chanel continued to work diligently up until the day she died in 1971. A person is truly an icon when they are recognized as being years beyond their time. As time goes by and trends end, it is her classic pieces which seem to always remain. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has even held exhibitions on the work of Ms. Coco Chanel. Although some may argue that Chanel prices are out of the average buyer’s price range, others argue that that it is the quality that makes the extra bucks worth while.

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