Coco Chanel

By: Jordan Riggins

Coco Chanel

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, or Coco Chanel as she was later known, was born in France in 1883. Chanel grew up in an orphanage after her mother died when she was young. In the orphanage Chanel learned how to sew, little did she know how far that small skill would take her. After her short lived singing career she decided her true calling was indeed fashion. Chanel was then prompted to open her first clothing store. From there she set up a relationship with Etienne Balsan who helped to get her business rolling. Eventually people began noticing the designs she was creating and she was able to open other stores. By the 1920's, black, was no longer seen as a sad color, or on that you would wear to a funeral, but rather hip and cool. This was also the time when her perfume, Chanel No.5, came out. Since the designs Chanel created were comfortable and fairly classy, women didn't feel compelled to wear corsets anymore. After World War 2, and a scandal involving a Nazi officer, Chanel "fell off the grid" for awhile due to public ridicule. Eventually Chanel made her way back into the fashion world, not everyone was as accepting as others but she was soon back with her designs becoming big again.


1.) What was one thing that surprised you about Chanel's designs?

2.) How modern do you think her designs are?

Coco Chanel's Impact

Coco Chanel impacted the 1920's by changing the way women thought about fashion and also changing the styles previously known into something more modern and comfortable.