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Coco Chanel Abstract



CocoChanel made history in the world of fashion because she helped inshaping the manner in which women dress. As a fashion icon, shecompletely designed the way ladies dressed during the 20thcentury. She brought the much-needed change in the industry since itwas feasible to make women be seen as making progress as their malecounterparts. Thus, she remains to be recognized in thetransformation of the fashion industry. The purpose of this report isto discuss the different stages of life for Coco Chanel as well asher significance.

PersonalLife and Early Career

Chanelwas a French fashion designer for women`s clothes as well as thecreator of the Chanel brand. Coco Chanel was a child born of a poorpeddler and a shop girl in 1883. Her mother faced death when Coco wasjust a few years old, and her father deserted her leaving her underthe care of nuns in a convent. The sisters taught Coco how to stitchclothes and introduced her to a tailoring employment (Hess 74).Although she was introduced to sewing at a young age, she did notknow whether her later work would be based on the basics shereceived. During her free time, Coco was a cabaret singer it was atthis point when she acquired the name ‘coco` following a song thatshe loved singing.

Thereal name of the fashion designer was Gabrielle Chanel, and shebecame the initiator of the channel house. Coco Chanel completelytransformed the world of style between 1883 and 1971. Researchindicates that Coco was worth 15 billion dollars by the conclusion of1970. Chanel came to realize about her talent when she met a closefriend called Paul Poiret. During the era of the First World War,Coco became very popular since she became recognized for theliberation of women from the constraints of what was known ascorseted silhouette. She advocated strongly for sportive and casualstyles for feminine fashion. Going beyond the design and style, theprolific fashion developer came to realize that she had an interestin jewelry, fragrances, and elegant handbags. Coco Chanel created asignature which became a famous product during her era the signaturewas referred to as Chanel No. 5 (Chaney 46). The signature made Cocoto become the only fashion designer to have recognition on the listof 100 most influential individuals in the Times Magazine printedduring the 20thcentury. Through Coco’s excellent performance, she became asupporter of many socialites, craftspeople, and artists.


Theprofessional life of Coco Chanel started in 1906 when she became thelover to a French textile heir as well as a racehorse owner. Horsesand fabric became two of her life long desires. However, being thelover of a busy businessman was not sufficient for Coco. She laterfell in love with an Englishman who took her to Paris. Coco openedher first millinery establishment in 1910 and moved together with herlover, Boy Capel to almost everywhere. In an attempt to make womenmore modern and comfortable just like men were, she began developingcasual knits and dresses that were simple compared to the ones thatcame from salons in Paris (Garelick 28). In her professional career,Coco was successful despite her lack of education. Although Capel hadassisted her in opening a boutique, his death through a car accidentin 1919 did not affect the business. Despite her love life being fullof frustrations, the fashion business continued to progress on well.By the year 1939, Coco’s venture had developed and providedemployment to more than 4000 workers.

Closureof Business to Living in Exile and Death

Despiteher success, Chanel left the center stage suddenly. Emanating fromstrikes that were organized by employees on the ground of forced hardlabor before the collection and the outbreak of WWII in 1939, Chaneldecided to close all her boutiques except for the one on Rue Cambonthat dealt with accessories and perfume. Chanel lived in Cambon themoment Germany occupied France in 1940. However, following theLiberation of Paris in 1944, Chanel moved to Switzerland where shelived in exile. After staying for 15 years where her career wasblank, Coco decided to come back to business in 1954. In 1971, CocoChanel retired to bed and passed away she was 87 years old at herdeath. Coco became buried in Lausanne, where she used to live whilein exile (Picardie 26).

Significanceof Coco Chanel

Cocois significant since she helped to change the course of fashion forwomen. During the 20thcentury, the dressing styles for women were dull compared to thefashion for women. Indeed, there was a need to bring modernity in thedressing styles for ladies, as well as comfort that came with the newfashion. One of the significant changes that she brought in thefashion industry was the acceleration of trousers for women as afashion item. During the wartime, women had to wear trousers as theybecame involved in traditionally male jobs (Simon 64). Coco had tofamiliarize the wearing of trousers among women. For instance, sheopted to wear sailor’s pants while at the beach resort of Deauvillerather than wearing a swimming costume that could have exposed herbody. The style spread quickly and a large number of women associatedwith the wearing of trousers as fashion.

Anotherachievement is that she made suntan to become a covetable fashion. Atthe beginning of the 20thcentury, skin that had brown coloration was linked to the lowerclasses. However, Coco made suntan to be a famous fashion after shebecame sunburned accidentally on a cruise. She made people to see atan as a sign of beauty and wealth (Picardie 38).

Cocomade it possible for women to appreciate the use of jersey. She wasthe first designer to utilize jersey, which had been reserved for menduring the time. The choice of the material was of importance sincethe war had led to a short supply of expensive fabric. Following theuse of jersey, other women also started using the material for womenclothes.

CocoChanel made a significant change in the development of brandedperfume. In 1921, Coco launched the use of Chanel No. 5, which wasthe first perfume that produced a scent that was deliberatelyartificial. The signature on the perfume helped in spreading thebrand to the market. The difference in the components making theperfume distinguished it from others, a move that made the perfume tobe loved by a vast number of individuals.

AlthoughPaul Poiret was the first to use costume jewelry, Coco introducedfake vast pearls as well as glittering gemstones that started totrend within no time. Furthermore, she made an impact in changing theperception that black color need to be reserved for widows inmourning and funerals. Coco created the little black dress thatbecame generally accepted for wearing at any time. In addition,Chanel was the first designer to develop women’s attire throughborrowing from the menswear. Thus, she can be indicated to have asignificant part in the fashion industry.


Inconclusion, Coco Chanel was a child born of a poor peddler and a shopgirl in 1883. Her mother faced death when Coco was just a few yearsold, and her father deserted her leaving her under the care of nunsin a convent. The professional life of Coco Chanel started in 1906when she became the lover to a French textile heir as well as aracehorse owner. Horses and fabric became two of her life longdesires. Although she was introduced to sewing at a young age, shedid not know whether her later work would be based on the basics shereceived. During her free time, Coco was a cabaret singer. As afashion icon, she completely designed the way ladies dressed duringthe 20thcentury. She brought the much-needed change in the industry since itwas feasible to make women be seen as making progress as their malecounterparts. Coco Chanel made a significant change in thedevelopment of branded perfume. Also, she made it possible for womento appreciate the use of jersey and women trousers.


Chaney,Lisa. Chanel:An Intimate Life.London: Penguin, 2012. Print.

Garelick,Rhonda K. Mademoiselle:Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History.Sydney, N.S.W: Pan Macmillan, 2015. Print.

Hess,Megan. CocoChanel: The Illustrated World of a Fashion Icon.Richmond, Victoria: Hardie Grant Books, 2015. Print.

Picardie,Justine. CocoChanel: The Legend and the Life.New York: Itbooks, 2011. Print.

Simon,Linda. CocoChanel.London: Reaktion Books, 2011. Print.