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This is short version of her biography:
When Coco was just twelve years old her mother died, leaving her father to care for the six children. He left a short time latter, and for the next seven years, Coco was in the orphanage of the Catholic monastery of Aubazine. Here she learned the trade of a seamstress.
During school vacations female relatives, in the provincial capital of Moulins, taught Coco how to sew much more elegant, than the nuns at the monastery were able to teach.
At the age of eighteen, she left the orphanage and began work for a local tailor. While working at the tailor shop she met Etienne Balsan, an English playboy, and began having an affair with him.
While working as a cafe and concert singer, Chanel adopted the name, Coco.
While Coco was living with Balsan, she began to design hats as a hobby. Her hats quickly caught the attention of the female Parisian elite. In 1909, with the help of Balsan and Arthur "Boy" Capel, another rich lover, Coco was able to open her own millinery, or hat shop called ''Chanel Modes." It was located at 31 rue Cambon in Paris.
French actresses wore the hats Coco made. This helped her to get a reputation established. In 1913 at her new boutique in Deauville, France, Coco introduced her sportswear for women.
In 1923, the Chanel suit was launched. It was a boxy jacket made of woven wool with gold buttons and black trim, warm with a large pearl costume necklace. The skirt was of knee length with trim. A truly elegant suit.
In 1925 she introduced her signature cardigan jacket. Coco also brought out the little black dress in 1926 and not only made it very popular, but also versatile. Depending on how it was easily accessories, it could be worn day or night.
Coco also introduces the bobbed hair style, pants for women,skiing accessories, she eliminated the use of the corset from women's fashion, added the use of knit jersey and unveiled the women's bathing suit. These are only a few of her accomplishments.
Coco also was a Hollywood fashion director. To attract women to the theater, Coco was asked to design costumes that would appeal to the women.
In 1923 Coco launched the first perfume to bear a designers name, Chanel No. 5. Pierre Wertheimer became her partner in the perfume business and the Wertheimers continue to control the perfume company today.
Her fashion empire, until her death, brought in over $160 million dollars a year.
In 1938 Coco decided to retire and for the next fifteen years she moved back and forth between Vichy and Switzerland. During this time she began seeing a Nazi officer named Hans Gunther Von Dincklage.
In 1954, she decided to make a come back and the Chanel suit once again caught the eyes and the pocket book, of women. Coco also introduced the pea jacket and bell bottom pants for women.
in 1969, Katharine Hepburn, played Coco in a Broadway musical, "Coco" based on Coco Chanel's life.
Coco Chanel worked up until her death. Coco died on January the 10th, 1971, in Paris, France at the age of 87.Pin It