Coco Chanel: The Iconic Queen of Fashion

Coco Chanel: The Iconic Queen of Fashion

She’s fabulous. She’s elegant. She’s the queen of fashion. She’s Coco Chanel.

Even her name sounded elegant! As one of the key designers who influenced both women’s and men’s fashion, Coco Chanel was the epitome of class. However, she remains a bit of an enigma. She’s become such an icon that it’s almost difficult to think of her as a real person rather than some larger-than-life mythical persona.

Movies like 2008’s Coco Chanel, which starred Barbara Bobulova in the title role, and 2009’s Coco Before Chanel starring Audrey Tautou, attempt to shed some light on the fashionista’s life, but in reality, they only romanticize her and make her more of a mystery.

Then again, perhaps she really was just as glamorous, seductive and elegant as she seems.

little-black-dress

Audrey Hepburn & the little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Who is Coco Chanel?

Coco Chanel, whose real name was Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, was a famous fashion designer. She was born in 1883 to a single mother, was raised in an orphanage and taught herself how to sew clothing.

Not long after she left the orphanage, she started designing women’s clothing. In an era where expensive, luxurious looks were key, she parsed it down to make “fashion women can live in, breathe in, feel comfortable in and look younger in.”

She’s responsible for turning fashion items like suits and little black dresses into wardrobe staples.

What was Coco Chanel’s social life like?

Thanks to her success as a designer, Coco Chanel operated in Paris’ top social circles.  She was incredibly progressive and associated with many avant-garde artists of the age.

She was never married, but she had several famous lovers–she even had rumored ties to Igor Stravinsky and Pablo Picasso.

How much money is Coco Chanel worth?

In 1970, she was worth an estimated $19 billion. This would be equivalent to about $118 billion.

How did Coco Chanel die?

Coco Chanel died in 1971 at the age of 87. She died of natural causes in her apartment at the Ritz Hotel.

Who runs the Chanel brand now?

Designer Karl Lagerfeld is the current creative director.

What is Chanel’s most famous product?

Coco Chanel’s signature scent, Chanel No. 5, remains one of the most popular Chanel products.