Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (1883 – 1971) was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Along with Paul Poiret, Chanel was credited with liberating women from the constraints of the “corseted silhouette” and popularizing the acceptance of a sportive, casual chic as the feminine standard in the post-World War I era. A prolific fashion creator, Chanel’s influence extended beyond couture clothing. Her design aesthetic was realized in jewelry, handbags, and fragrance. Her signature scent, Chanel No. 5, has become an iconic product.
Chanel was known for her lifelong determination, ambition, and energy which she applied to her professional and social life. She achieved both success as a businesswoman and social prominence thanks to the connections she made through her work. These included many artists and craftspeople to whom she became a patron. However, Chanel’s life choices generated controversy, particularly her behaviour during the German occupation of France in World War II.
Coco Chanel à Moulins, 1903 .
Gabrielle Chanel, Deauville 1913
Salvador Dalí and Coco Chanel
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel 1931
Coco Chanel Photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1937
Coco Chanel, 1937. Photo by Photo by George Hoyningen-Huene
Coco Chanel in her atelier Romy Schneider 1960.
Coco Chanel in her atelier with Romy Schneider, 1960