ChildhoodBorn on August 19th, 1883 in Saumur (Maine-et-Loire), it is resulting from a line of stallholders Cevennes (Ponteils-and-Brésis, canton of Génolhac, Gard). His/her two parents are Albert Chanel (originating in the Gard and Camelot) and Jeanne Devolle (originating in Courpière in the Département of the Puy-de-Dôme and dressmaker).
The mother of Coco Chanel hardly dies in 33 years. The young girl does not have whereas 12 years. His/her father gives up it to go to make fortune in America. The young girl only finds herself with her two sisters, Julia, 13 years, and Antoinette, 8 years, in an orphanage with Aubazine, in Corrèze. His/her two brothers, as for them, are placed in farmers.
With her aunt Adrienne, sister of her father, it becomes shop lady to Moulins, then singer of Music-hall. She occurs in spectacle in front of the officers who call it “Coconut”, because she sings Which that Coconut saw (words of Baumaine and Blondelet, music of Deransart). This nickname will not leave it any more.
ModisteIts craft industry begins in the Parisian garçonnière from her guard Etienne Balsan. The Chapeau X which she proposes with her customers are only variations of those which she manufactures for itself and which, with the castle of Royallieu (close to Compiegne), his/her friends allured, of the demi-mondaines who attend the place.
Not having technical training, nor of tools for manufacture, it buys its shapes of hats in the department stores and furnishes them before reselling them. The innovation and the elegance of its style make that, soon, it must call upon her aunt Adrienne which has the same age as it and with her Antoinette sister to assist it.
In 1909, Arthur Capel, his/her British lover called Servant boy, lends to him the required funds with the purchase of a license and the opening of its first shop with Deauville for then being established with Biarritz and Paris. She seeks to widen the product range which she proposes with her customers. Very gifted in marketing, she seeks to create a request for the line of Vêtement S haute couture which she wants to create.
She uses beautiful and elegant Adrienne as mannequin with Deauville, which is then a vacation resort to the mode. The shortage of fabrics due to the First World War, as well as the relative shortage of labor domesticates created new needs for the women. Chanel, free woman and activate, perceive these needs. It buys with Rodier whole parts of a Jersey used at the time only for the male underclothing.
With this fabric, it will equip the women of behaviors fluid, comfortable during this war, with the neutral colors, of the beige, the black. Its success enables him to refund Arthur Capel and to financially become an independent woman.
Impassioned Black and White , it shortens the Jupe S, démodant the decorated woman. Then, it settles to the 21, then to the 31 of the street Cambon. Very quickly, it has several hundreds of workers; it buys five buildings of the street. It opens a branch with Biarritz, where it equips the Spanish rich person.
Living with the Large duke Dimitri, it lodged Stravinski and them his during two years with Garches, it signed accounts - checks which avoided with Serge de Diaghilev some chasms. It paid even its funeral with San Michele of Venice. By Misia Serves, it had its Greek period, equipping the Oedipus and the Antigone with Jean Cocteau.
Two of its most famous creations, the perfume Chanel Nº 5 (Registered trademark) launched in 1921 remains traditional, as well as the chanel suit, a female whole in tweed created in 1954 in reaction to the new look, always form part of the wardrobe of the women of today. Its clothing with the style purified tailors, his Small black dress, its jewels baroques, its Perle S belongs to the timeless inheritance of the mode.
In 1939, on a blow of head, it closes its house. The Parfum S Chanel suffice largely for its way of life. Installed with the Hotel Ritz, among its folding screens in lacquer of Coromandel, she lives there during the Second world war with the German officer of the intelligence services Hans Gunther von Dincklage. She tries to negotiate a peace separated between the Third Reich and the United Kingdom. Only the friendship of Winston Churchill, which she had known during her connection with the duke of Wesminster, avoids serious troubles with the Release to him. One reproached him for having arranged the dismissal of the founders of the house Bourjois, the Wertheimer brothers. She was thus shown of Antisémitisme after having employed the term “youpin” in the letter which she addressed to the German Kommandantur to announce to them this fact.
End of a careerThe February 5th 1954, after fifteen years of inactivity, Chanel reopens its designers house with difficulties at the 71 years age. But success will appear as of its second collection and will not contradict itself any more to its last collection. In January 1971 at the 87 years age, she dies in Ritz, leaving a considerable heritage to the mode.
AnecdoteIts close friends called it “Miss”.
It is it which launched the fashion of the skin bronzed, after an accidental bronzing at the time of its holidays at sea of North, whereas before the clear skins were with the mode. At the end of its life, it will reconsider this fashion while insisting on the dangerous aspect of too strong exposures to the sun.
It made discover its new perfume N° 5 by vaporizing it almost entirely in the shop! Perfume created by Ernext Beautiful in 1922.
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