Coco Chanel

By: Meredith Scarborough

Biography of Coco Chanel

In Saumur, France on August 19, 1883 Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was born. Gabrielle’s mother died when she was young. She was abandoned by her father and raised in a orphanage. In the orphanage nuns taught her to sew. The nickname "Coco," came from a song she used to sing. Coco Chanel came from nothing.

In 1910 Coco Chanel opened the first shop of Chanel in Paris selling only hats. Her first clothing she sold was made out of an old jersey that she made into a dress. At this time it was considered immodest to wear a dress above your knees. Coco Chanel and the Chanel brand is best known for the collarless jacket, the little black dress, trademark suits, and Coco Chanel’s signature cardigan jacket. Coco Chanel revolutionized the fashion world by getting rid of corsets and replacing them with what she liked to call, “Luxury Comfort.” Coco brought women a new standard for women’s beauty. French fashion designer Coco Chanel was Time Magazine’s only fashion designer to make the Top 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century. She refashioned the 1920’s by changing how women looked at themselves through her luxurious relaxing designs. Coco’s designs are timeless and still popular today. She was said to be ahead of her time. With her signature style Coco Chanel revolutionized the 1920’s by bringing women freedom from the fashion that society had constraints on. After her death Coco Chanel had multiple biographies written about her including Chanel and Her World. In 2008 Coco Chanel was filmed about the life and hardships of Coco Chanel.

The Impact of Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel had a unique and advanced style for women that is indefinite. She established the Chanel brand that not only revolutionized corsets and long dresses to comfortable luxury, but her designs and brand are still popular today.
Coco - Inside CHANEL

Question from the Movie

1. What was Coco Chanel's childhood like?

2. What are some the things Coco Chanel revolutionized in the fashion industry?