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Entrepreneur: Coco Chanel
Transcript of Entrepreneur: Coco Chanel
Given name was Gabrielle "Eddie Flores" Bonheur Chanel
Was born in 1883 and died in 1971 (87 years old)
French fashion designer
Founder of the brand...
1889; Due to the death of her mother, young Coco was sent to a Catholic orphange in which she learned how to sew
At 18, Coco departed from the orphanage to pursue a career as a cabaret(musical performer at a nightclub) singer and to work as a local tailor
It was during her singing career that she was given the name "Coco"
She then left Balsan and started a relationship with an even wealthier Industrialist who financed and installed her first couture shops
The rich guy...
The other rich guy
1910; Her first shop under the name of "CHANEL Modes" sold hats
Women's fashion at the time was very "restrictive"
They were trapped in corsets; they couldn't breathe or eat
Coco introduced things like collared shirts with ties and boater hats for women. Things that have previously been part of the male wardrobe
She was determined to change the need for women to be just as comfortable as men
The Boater Hat
1920s- Coco made a change in the mentalist of the era
She became the first designer to make clothing with jersey (which was only used for underwear at the time)
Innovated the boxy, corsetless signature silhouette of the 20s
Her silhouettes complimented women's natural shape instead of exaggerating it
1921; Coco launched her CHANEL Nº5 fragrance, which is currently the bestselling scent in the world
Was the only one in the field of fashion to be named one of TIME's 100 Most Important People in History for the 20th Century
At the age of 20, she met a guy named Etienne Balsan who was an ex-military officer
This was when she started designing and creating hats as an entertainment (Fancy hats were really popular at the time)
He offered to help her start a "millinery"(hatmaking) business in Paris
1926; She creates the "little black dress"
At 71(1954), SHE MADE A COMEBACK
Re-opened Couture House- Inspired yet another fashion revolution with her creations such as:
Elegant quilted bags
comfortable tweed jackets, and so many more in the areas of apparel and accessories for modern women
The Quilted Bag
1913; New boutique introduced a collection of sportswear (with the use of jersey garments)-REVOLUTIONARY
The Chanel Suit
1915; First Couture House in Biarritz, France
1918; Another Couture House at 31 rue Cambon in Paris
1922; Chanel Nº22 is launched
1924; First make up collection
Chanel's makeup line is founded on the same year and is dedicated to creating fragrances and beauty products
Was eventually invited to America in 1931 to design for Hollywood- signed a 1 million dollar contract
ex: Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly
Designed costumes for the stage and cinematic works
1935; 4,000 employees and owned 5 boutiques on rue Cambon in Paris but when WWII broke out in 1945, only one remained
CELEBRITIES IN CHANEL
Coco's creativity and innovation helped shape women's modern fashion. There's a slight possibility women would still be wearing corsets if it wasn't for her.
Some of Coco's fashion innovations that are still with us include:
Cardigans and twin sets
Trousers for women
The little black dress- she made the color look elegantly chic
Coco Chanel was undoubtedly hardworking. She basically worked until her death and even though men were starting to take over the fashion industry, it didn't stop her from making a comeback at 71 years old!
Revolutionist in Fashion: You go, Coco!
Even from the very beginning, it was evident that Coco was different. She wore black, plain dresses instead of extravagant satin dresses.
Before liberating women she liberated herself. She shortened dresses, revealed ankles, freed waists, revived jersey, eliminated corsets, cut her hair short, and bronzed her skin.
Has influenced every designer that came after her signature suit; a collarless cardigan jacket trimmed in braid with a straight skirt
She didn't let her lack of experience (no not even WWII) stop her from doing what she enjoyed the most. Her determination and self-motivation definitely helped her become an enduring legend.
Her primary objective was to show elegance through simplicity and refinement. She was able to create fashionable yet comfortable and functional clothes for women to live their lives in. Personally, I'm more drawn to the androgynous look so I think it's significant how Coco Chanel was inspired by many traditional menswear garments such as pea jackets, raincoats, sweaters, and trousers. She adapted menswear into practical styles for women.
Coco once said, "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas. The way we live, what is happening." She looked at the world around as her perfect source of inspiration. Having to live in such an enchanting place, it would've been groundbreaking if she didn't.
She mixed up the vocabulary of male and female clothing and created something revolutionary. Her taste and sense of style showcases the feeling of hidden luxury. She closed one era and launched a new century of fashion and became the queen of Paris.
Chanel being perfect...
SHE DID WHAT?
•1914; She used her business brain to cash in on the war- she realized how women needed to wear something they can work and play in and so she began to design simple clothes. ex: cardigans, pullover tops, and sports jackets
•1916; she had enough money to pay back her loan from Boy Capel-which was the guy she left Balsan for. She became completely financially independent
•1929; Chanel opens a boutique for her accessories