Coco Chanel

By: Keely Adams

Biography

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was born on August 19th, 1882. As a young girl her mother died and her dad left her and her four siblings. Her and her two sisters were sent to a boarding school while her brothers were placed on a farm as laborers. Growing up wasn't easy for Coco because she didn't have parents to provide for her and she lived in unreasonable conditions and was in poverty. She left the boarding school as soon as she was old enough and got a job at a local boutique as a seamstress. It didn't take long for her to become very skilled and have lots of costumers. It is said that she got the nickname Coco because, one night while she was at a local diner she was asked to come up on stage and sing in between shows. People say that she sang of a girl who lost her dog Coco, thus the nickname Coco was born. She met a man named Etienne Balsan who had a passion for horses. As their relationship grew, Coco then too became an expert horsewoman. She used her passion for fashion and incorporated it into her liking for horses and started making hats to wear while riding. Women at horse shows were soon seen wearing these hats and people took a liking to her unique style. This is where her fashion designing really began.

Impact

Coco not only made an impact on the fashion world but, she also made an impact on the way women dressed. Women in the 20's wanted to stand out and be unique and her clothing helped women express themselves through the way they dressed. Coco designed clothing that was stylish yet comfortable to wear unlike most clothing in the 20's. She set many trends such as wearing pants and loose fitting things. Her perfume Chanel No. 5 was the most popular perfume in the world. Her impact to the fashion world still holds strong today and her clothing line continues to be a success.
Coco - Inside CHANEL

Video Questions

- What did she pretend her dad left to do?

- What was the name of her first love?