She began designing hats at first and as she moved on from her new lover, Englishman Arthur Edward Capel, to the Duke of Westminster, Coco familiarized herself with British public figures, and, most importantly, English tailoring. The stylish and bold dress suit for woman erupted onto the fashion scene followed shortly by the now-legendary perfume, Chanel No. 5. Then, in 1926 came the little black dress, cementing Coco’s infamous status in not only fashion, but in everything chic and glamorous.
Coco Chanel. Gracefully rolling off the tongue, the name itself exudes a fierce confidence sewed together with a charming grace. Born August 18, 1983, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel would grow up to revolutionize the fashion industry with her modernist mind, keen fashion sense, belief that women could sport the styles usually found on men, and of course, her little black dress. Chanel’s way to fashion began in a nunnery, where she learned the talent that would propel her forward into the Parisian fashion world: dressmaking. Bold, audacious, and determined, a young Gabrielle landed on the singing stage of bars for officers, who nicknamed her “Coco” short for “coquette” (a flirt) or “coquina” (naughty). One of her officer-lovers and textile mogul, Étienne Balsan landed her a job as a dressmaker and introduced her to Parisian high society, which was all the charismatic Coco needed to begin her industrious career.
After a short stint in Hollywood, where she designed clothes for both Katherine Hepburn and Grace Kelly, Coco returned to her beloved Paris and moved into a magnificent apartment located at her headquarters at 31, rue Cambon, while taking a suite at the fabulously elegant Ritz Hotel where she stayed until her death at 87 years old. But before her death, Coco would find herself arrested as a Nazi collaborator, declared on of the richest women in the world, and on top of the fashion world once more during the post-war fashion revival. Sophisticated, determined, brilliant, and as her name suggests, a bit naughty, Coco Chanel’s radiant influence is everywhere, living on in every woman’s spray of perfume, dress suit and little black dress.– Nicole Ellul
Chanel Boutique & Apartment
31 Rue Cambon
75001 Paris, France
+33 1 44 50 66 00