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Transcript of Coco Chanel
In 1939, she had to close her store due to the World War. When the war was over she took a risk to open her store again after 14 years of absence from the fashion industry.
As customers fled Paris at the beginning of the war, Chanel's boutiques in Deauville and Biarritz flourished. Chanel's uncluttered styles, with their boxy lines and shortened skirts, allowed women to leave their corsets behind and freed them for the practical activities made necessary by the war.
Chanel didn’t like the look of corsets and felt that women were taking on too much discomfort in the name of fashion. She replaced the corset with comfortable and casual elegant clothing. She mixed up the vocabulary of male and female clothes.
How did Coco Chanel develop her industry?
She got her business started by making clothes and then offering to make it for other people. Coco Chanel meet an Englishman Arthur Capel who liked her idea. He helped Chanel open her first milliner shop in Paris in 1910, and later in 1913 her boutique in Deauville, France
What risks did Coco Chanel take?
Image by Tom Mooring
What problem did Coco Chanel’s designs change?
What personal characteristics made Coco Chanel a successful entrepreneur?
The difficulties of her early childhood life inspired her to pursue her career in designing. When she was young, after her mother’s death, Chanel was put in an orphanage by her father. She was raised by nuns who taught her how to sew.
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. However, Chanel's highly competitive, opportunistic personality led her to make questionable life choices which have created controversy around her reputation, particularly her behavior during the German occupation of France in World War II.
What are some of Coco Chanel’s accomplishments?
Coco Chanel was one of the most influential people in fashion. Even though she started off poor, she promoted women's equality in their wear. She made the first jersey suit, the first perfume, the first little black dress, and a lot of new things that were different from the corsets and hoop skirts.
Where did Coco Chanel come from?
The fashion designer Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel known as Coco Chanel was born on August 19 1883, in Saumur France.
By Brenda Pagano and Felicia Leporace
Coco Chanel was raised in an orphanage where she was taught how to sew. Before opening her first clothing shop in 1910, she started off as a singer.
In the 1920s, she released her first perfume and introduced the Chanel suit and the little black dress.
Opening her first shop on Paris’s Rue Cambon in 1910, Chanel started out selling hats. She got inspired and later began making clothes.
Chanel faced many challenges as a designer but she never gave up and always took risks. She was willing to take any risks she needed to reach the top and be the best.
When Chanel first introduced her jersey and tweed suits for women, she got mad reviews by the European critics. She ignored the critics and continued by taking risks. She designed and wore open-necked shirts when everyone else was buttoning theirs up; she wore trousers and created her signature scarlet lipstick.
Coco Chanel lead women away from their corset prisons, and designed clothing that made women comfortable and look younger.
She won a couple of awards and has millions of designs out there but it was not until the 1950s that Chanel ventured into designing fragrances for men. Her first men's fragrance, Pour Monsieur quickly became popular and remains the number one selling fragrance for men. Her spring collection received the Fashion Oscar at the 1957 Fashion Awards in Dallas and she was pronounced “the most influential designer of the 20th century.”
Why did we choose Coco Chanel as our entrepreneur?
We chose Coco Chanel as our entrepreneur because we’ve always liked her fashion and we were interested in knowing more about her life and her business.
In her early career, Gabrielle Chanel was a singer, she performed in clubs and she got her nick name Coco.
In the 1920s, She launched her first perfume, Chanel No. 5.
In 1925, she introduced the Chanel suit with collarless jacket and well-fitted skirt. She helped women say good-bye to the days of corsets. Another 1920s revolutionary design was Chanel’s little black dress.
Coco Chanel’s mother died when she was young and her father decided put her in an orphanage. That is where she learned how to sew.
When she was 20 years old she became involved with Etienne Balsan who offered to help her start a business in Paris. She then left him for one of his even wealthier friends, Arthur Capel. Opening her first shop on Paris’ Rue Cambon in 1910, Chanel started out selling hats. She later added stores in Deauville and Biarritz and began making clothes. Her first clothing of success came from a dress she made out of an old jersey . Many people asked about where she got the dress, and she offered to make one for them.
What did you find particularly
insightful about Chanel's story?
What made Chanel successful wasn’t just that she started with nothing and built her business during a time when women were second class citizens; it was her skill at making extraordinary clothes. She was raised in an orphanage and sewed to support herself. She believed in herself. She was stubborn, challenging and she had self-confidence which made everyone else to believe in her too. She exploited opportunities and had connections. She never gave up and that’s why she’s still one of the most recognized names in fashion.