Coco Chanel was born on 19/08/1883 as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel at Saumur in France. She is portrayed as an amazing woman who redefined the fashion industry as depicted in the modern society. Chanel was a clothing stylist who transformed the fashion industry with her miniature black dresses, suits, and avant-garde sparkle. As a result of this, she became famous at her tender age and became elevated to the fashion icon that she assumes in the modern society (Wolf, 48). Based on the ageless designs that are still depicted as prevalent in these recent days, and the sophisticated wears that can be combined with enormous accessories, Chanel can be viewed as having achieved it all (Biography.com, 27). When an individual critically analyses the success of Chanel, it is right to say that her philosophy “luxury must be comfortable. Otherwise, it’s not luxury” had a significant impact on her success.
Thesis statement: The life of Coco Chanel was a bit messy, but that didn’t stop her from making a significant impact on the fashion industry. Her designs were liberating for women, her company survived after World War II when other businesses failed, and of course, there is the little black dress; a garment that continues to thrive with many of today’s designers putting their spin on the clothing.
Despite the fact that Coco Chanel rose to prestige at her tender age, her children cannot be described as being illustrious as compared to her prosperous adulthood. After the departure of her mother from this world, Chanel was taken into an orphanage by her father who was a merchant. At the orphanage vicinity, Chanel was taken care of by nuns and received education on a variety of things above all was the sewing skills. So timely on it, it can be postulated that Chanel was destined to develop into the trendsetter that she ultimately became. Chanel had a short career in which she assumed the role of a singer in a particular café. However, the occupation did not last in that it was terminated just after commencement through the new identity ‘Cocoette’ that she had been branded would endure in her entire lifetime. The name was eventually truncated to Coco that is her destined iconic name (Wallach, 67). Coco is not only considered as a trademark for the succeeding years anticipate, but it would also be linked with prestige; the brand budge of Chanel depicting honor if you will. It is therefore easy to say that despite her lacking a perfect childhood or a glamorous start, which became the primary foundation the realization of her desired success.
Following her failed effort to become a singer, she resorted back to the childhood tailoring task. It is a socialite by the name Etienne Balsan that helped her into her iconic position in the society. Etienne was Chanel’s mistress for three consecutive years, and she handled her to the perks of her prosperous life. Chanel began designing hats as a result of boredom at the initial stage. The caps started enticing attention, which became the necessary foundation for her first commercial business. She started a hat store which got named “Chanel Modes” in the year 1910, and it was a great success (Bisset, 23). Following this endeavor, she shifted her loyalty to Arthur Edward from Balsan who accompanied her to Paris. He aided her to open another store in the year 1913 and was branded Deauville. Even though Arthur was disloyal to Chanel, they had a stable relationship that lasted for nine years and had significant influence in her life.
The success of the venture acted as an ignition point for Chanel’s confidence. She opened yet another store that she branded it Biarritz. The experiment was very advantageous in that it led to the reimbursement of her initial capital outlay that she had invested in Capel within one year. As a matter of fact, in 1918, she was in a position to lease an entire building along a single fashionable street in Paris (Wallach, 32). When 1919 came to an alt, Chanel had recognized herself as a listed couturier. In the year 1932, Chanel traveled to California to satisfy a contract she had entered with Samuel Goldwyn, a film producer, as a designer for MGM stars. Chanel disliked the ways of Hollywood as she perceived them to be infantile. However, she did not stop designing attires for the French films (Steele, 36). Chanel enticed controversies with her nonconformist manners and her association with the masculine gender of high stature. During the World War II, her businesses survived because she worked as a Nazi agent missioned with recruitment and spying tasks. She thus had an affair with Baron Hans who was a German officer.
Chanel, with her peculiar traits and impeccable fashion sense, she befitted a brand as an individual. She liberated the feminine gender from the robust corseted approach that existed at that particular time (Evans, 48). This is because she interlaced both the female and male clothes in her design which generated a fashion that provided the wearer with a sense of hidden luxury as compared to the ostentation feeling. This altered the way women viewed themselves in the society. Lacking Chanel’s dress made an individual a fashion blunder. This is perceived as a basis of her of authenticity. The Chanel bag, pearl jewelry, and suit are still on the rage (Davis, 337). Her life acted as a motivation to numerous individuals as it is portrayed through the entire channels of art. People unceasingly attempt to uncover the real picture of who she was, and she desired to be.
Bisset, Colin. “Why Chanel’s Little Black Dress Has Never Gone Out of Fashion.” Radio
National. ABC, 15 Dec. 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
Biography.com Editors. “Coco Chanel Biography.Com.” The Biography.Com website, A&E Television Networks, 27 Apr. 2017, retrieved from www.biography.com/people/coco-chanel-9244165
Davis, Fred. “Of maids’ uniforms and blue jeans: The drama of status ambivalences in clothing and fashion.” Qualitative Sociology 12.4 (1989): 337-355.
Evans, Caroline, and Minna Thornton. “Fashion, representation, femininity.” Feminist Review 38 (1991): 48-66.
Steele, Valerie. Paris fashion: a cultural history. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017.
Wallach, Janet. Chanel: Her style and her life. Nan A. Talese, 1998.
Wolf, Ronni, Binnur Tüzün, and Yalcin Tüzün. “Sunscreens.” Dermatologic Therapy 14.3 (2001): 208-214.