Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel 1883 - 1971 Born in Saumur, Southern France on August 19, 1883 • The Chanel family did not have money • No one knew how to spell Chanel so the mayor improvised and recorded it with an "s," making it Chasnel. • When Gabrielle was twelve, her mother died of tuberculosis, and her father disappeared. • School vacations were spent with relatives . Female relatives taught Coco to sew with more flourish than the nuns at the monastery were able to demonstrate. • When Coco turned eighteen, she left the orphanage Childhood Career/Life Path • Gabrielle adopted the name “oco” during a brief stint as a singer in cafes and concert halls • While working at a tailoring shop she met and soon began an affair with Etienne Balsan • Coco left Etienne and took over his apartment in Paris. • In 1908 she began selling hats from the basement shop in Etienne’s apartment. • She was forced to close her shop Career/Life Path continued… • In 1909 Chanel met up with an estranged and former best friend of Etienne Balsan , Arthur "Boy" Capel . • 1910 she opened second shop funded by boy Capel in Cambon, Paris • 1913 she opened a clothing shop in Deauville , France funded by Capel • In 1916 oco hanel became the first designer to create loose women’s clothing using jersey • In 1919 Chanel relocated one of her shops to 31 rue Cambon in Paris. • oco also lost her true love, Arthur “oy” apel in a tragic car accident Career/ Life Path Continued… • In 1922, she launched the fragrance Chanel No. 5 • In 1925 Chanel launched her signature cardigan jacket • In 1926 she created the “little black dress” • In 1939 Chanel closed all her shops except the one on Rue Cambon No. 31 • In 1954 she returned to the fashion world after spending 15 years in Switzerland • In 1957 Chanel was presented with the Neiman - Marcus Award. Death Coco Chanel died of a heart attack in her private suite at the Hotel Ritz Paris on 10 January 1971, at the age of 87. She was buried in Lausanne, Switzerland and her tombstone is carved with lion heads representing her birth sign, Leo. Fashions that Chanel Introduced to the world • Black as a color and the Chanel lipstick red. • Trousers • Costume jewelry • Sailor tops • The elimination of the corset from women's fashion • The unisex style of dressing • Sunbathing • The use of knit jersey • The women's bathing suit • The bobbed hair style • The skirt suit (with a collarless, cardigan - like jacket and somewhat boxy suit skirt with buttons.) • With the help of Ernest Beaux, a chemist, she combined over 128 scents to design Chanel No. 5. Coco was the first to incorporate the use of floral scents The “Roots” of Chanel Business • Coco Chanel sought financial help from Pierre Wertheimer to market a fragrance she had developed in 1921 • Pierre Wertheimer funded the venture and retained a 70 percent ownership share in the Perfume company. Coco Chanel only got a 10 percent cut. • Pierre Wertheimer wanted to protect his legal rights, but wished to avoid a court battle, and so, in 1947, he settled the dispute with Coco Chanel, giving her $400,000 and agreeing to pay her a 2 percent royalty on all Chanel products. • At 70 years of age in 1954, Coco Chanel returned to Paris with the intent of restarting her fashion studio. She went to Pierre Wertheimer for advice and money, and he agreed to finance her plan in exchange for all rights to the Chanel name. • To this day Chanel has expanded its line to include women's fashions, jewelry and accessories, handbags, leather goods, and other products. While its products are sold through third parties, Chanel also operates its own network of more than 80 company - owned retail stores worldwide. There are also more than 120 Chanel shop - in - shop boutiques in leading department stores around the world. "Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable." "A girl should be two things: classy & fabulous ."