I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t recognize the iconic double-C logo. The 2 C’s stand for Coco Chanel, probably the most renowned amongst fashion designers who ever walked the face of the planet. Timeless designs that still reign today.
Born as a peasant in France on August 19, 1883, Coco Chanel is famous for her suits, fragrances, and little black dresses. Being raised in an orphanage, she was taught how to sew. In 1910, she opened her first clothing shop on Paris’s Rue Cambon that led to the launching of her fragrance in the 1920’s. At the same time, the little black dress was introduced. Her goal was to be able to make clothes that were more comfortable for women to wear.
On January 10, 1971, Chanel died. Many mourners came to say goodbye in her label’s suits as a tribute.
Although she was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the name “Coco” materialized during her short singing career. It is thought that the name comes from one of the songs she used to sing. Chanel stated that it was a “shortened version of cocotte, the French word for kept woman.”
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Fashion designers around the world admire what she’s accomplished and strive to meet her level of excellence.[/perfectpullquote]
Coco Chanel’s first fashion project came about when she was 20 years old. She first focused on selling hats and then opened additional stores in Deauville and Biarritz where she began making clothes. Chanel’s first fashion success was a dress she created from an old jersey. So many people asked her about it, and she made more for them. Her fortune started with that one dress she made for herself because it will chilly that day in Deauville.
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Coco Chanel now had a thriving business, and when she launched her first perfume, Chanel No. 5, it became the first to carry a designer’s name. Chanel had said, “perfume is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” Department store owner Théophile Bader and businessmen Pierre and Paul Wertheimer first backed the fragrance. At the time, Coco Chanel developed a close friendship with Pierre. The initial deal included the Wertheimer business taking 70 percent of Chanel No. 5 profits for producing the perfume at their factories, Bader receiving 20 percent, and Chanel only receiving 10 percent. Over the years, No. 5 became a massive source of revenue. She wanted the deal renegotiated and repeatedly sued to change it.
The Legendary Coco Chanel: An Inspiration For Fashion Designers
In 1925, Coco Chanel produced the famous Chanel suit with a collarless jacket and well-fitted skirt. Her designs helped to overcome the days of women having to wear corsets. At around the same time, the little black dress evolved and became an instant hit. People now viewed black as chic and stylish instead of thinking it to be a color that signified mourning.
She eventually went on to design costumes for the Ballets Russes and Jean Cocteau’s play Orphée. During the depression of the 1930’s, Chanel’s company suffered alongside so many others. Once the war broke out, she was forced to close her shops and halt business.
Coco Chanel returned to the fashion world with a vengeance at the age of 70. She had the admiration of shoppers and fashion designers alike for her easy-fitting designs. Broadway musicals, movies, and biographies highlighted her life as an iconic fashion wonder.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Designer, Karl Lagerfeld, took up the torch at her company ten years following her death. He wanted to do right by the Chanel name and continue her fashion legacy. Her designs and reinventions have generated millions of dollars every passing year.[/perfectpullquote]
Coco Chanel’s designs continue to be an inspiration for big-time fashion designers today. Her styles are still present on the runway. Simple, easy and understated define her style.
Coco Chanel Did Not Have A Degree
What Chanel did have was an amazing talent to come up with ideas out of thin air. She would take a garment or piece of fabric and reinvent it into something spectacular. Without any experience or schooling, she started a fashion business but was determined, ambitious, and imaginative.
So many of us would like to start a fashion business of our own. Join the realm of fashion designers. What’s stopping us? We don’t have the experience or a degree. Chanel is a prime example that shows us we don’t need a degree or even experience for that matter.
What we do need is the drive, determination, imagination, and ambition to make our dreams reality. We don’t need a trust fund to have our own fashion label. Many fashion designers have started with little to nothing. You can become a charlie! and bring your dreams of becoming a fashion designer to fruition.
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