By Eden Souser.

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
– Coco Chanel

Many of us know of Coco Chanel as a woman ahead of her times for fashion designing. What most of us don’t know is how she became who she was.

Before she was known as Coco she grew up as Gabrielle in Saumur, France. Her mother was a laundrywoman and he father was a street peddler. Within a few years her mother died of tuberculosis and her father sent her and her sister to an orphanage. The orphanage, Aubazine taught Coco how to sew and after she turned 18 sent went to live in the boarding house in Moulin’s where she got a job as a seamstress. Besides sewing she would sing in a cabaret, where she got the nickname of Coco. An ex-officer named Balsan grew fond of her singing and she became his mistress for quite some time. During that time she grew to love another man named Arthur Capel, otherwise known as “Boy”, who ended up helping Coco finance her first shop in Paris. Tragically she lost “Boy” in a car accident.

It is said that the famous Chanel No.5 perfume bottle shape was based on the toiletry bottles or the design of the whiskey decanter that Capel carried on himself. Chanel also dealt with the times of women designers not being very common and broke the social norm with high classed friends wearing her garments that she had created. She also created a stir wearing suits which were only worn my men back in those times.

Having death and war in her life time, Coco Chanel never gave up. She was a fashion innovator of her time; she did what no other person out there had the balls to do. Chanel changed the idea dressings of a woman of her time from frilly to more purposeful and simple.  Without Chanel in the fashion industry, who knows where we would be at today!

“There have been several Duchesses of Westminster
but there is only one Chanel!”
– Coco Chanel

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