Legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel changed fashion for women. Her Chanel bags, perfumes, suits and little black dress are still iconic in women's fashion. What else do you know about this famed woman's stamp on design?
Her given name was Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel.
Coco Chanel was born August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France.
After her mother died when Chanel was just 12, her father left her and her sisters in an orphanage. The nuns at the convent taught her how to sew.
Prior to becoming a designer, Chanel performed at Moulin Rouge-esque cafés.
Chanel met wealthy playboy Etienne Balsan, who she eventually moved in with on his estate, where she familiarized herself with the aristocratic way of life.
Coco Chanel sold hats out of her first shop on Paris’s Rue Cambon.
Much of Chanel's clothing was made of jersey; until she began working with it, jersey was more commonly used for men's underwear.
Chanel's clothing garnered attention for its simplicity. She had a disdain for the ornate fashions of the day meant to make women appear as "monuments of belated and flamboyant art."
Coco Chanel's Chanel No. 5, which was the first perfume to feature a designer's name, was backed by department store owner Théophile Bader and businessmen Pierre and Paul Wertheimer.
True. The Chanel suit -- with collarless jacket and well-fitted skirt -- was revolutionary for the time and borrowed elements of men's wear and emphasized comfort.
We can all thank Chanel for the little black dress. She took a color associated with mourning and showed how chic it could be.
Editors of Vogue compared Chanel's little black dress to a Ford automobile because it could go anywhere, day or night, and they predicted it would become as recognizable as a Ford.
Despite enormous success, Chanel closed her Paris salon when France declared war on Germany in World War II.
Some critics disapproved of her new looks launched in 1954, but the feminine and easy-fitting designs won fans all over around the world.
Chanel was involved with Hans Gunther von Dincklage. After the war she suffered in the court of public opinion, as many French viewed her relationship with a Nazi officer as a betrayal of her country.
Chanel and Churchill were known to be great friends, however they were never romantically involved.
She designed pieces made from chains, beads and glass that were meant to be worn with her casual daytime sportswear.
The Chanel 2.55 bag's design was inspired by a military satchel with shoulder straps. The name comes from the date of its creation, February 1955.
MGM hired Chanel to dress some of its leading ladies. The collaboration was not a success, although she did go on to design for several French films.
In fact the two female designers were bitter rivals.
By the 1960s, the most celebrated stars of the time -- including Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly -- were wearing the latest fashions from Chanel.
Chanel No. 19, which was named for Coco Chanel's birthday, August 19, was actually introduced in 1970.
The iconic Chanel tweed replicates the simplicity of a man's formal jacket, but screams elegance and femininity.
Katherine Hepburn starred as the legendary designer in the Broadway musical about her life.
Fashion changes, but style endures.
When asked to marry him, Chanel reportedly told the Duke, "There have been several Duchesses of Westminster. There is only one Chanel."
She died on Sunday, January 10, 1971, at the Hotel Ritz, where she had resided for more than 30 years.
It wasn't until 1983 that Lagerfeld was appointed artistic director for Chanel.
Today the Chanel company is held privately by the Wertheimer family, the same Wertheimers she collaborated with on Chanel No. 5 in the 1920s.
I don't do fashion, I am fashion.