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Coco Chanel, from a life of poverty and shelters to the world’s most famous fashion designer
Coco Chanel success story
The French fashion designer Coco Chanel (1883 1971) is a phenomenon that broke a set of concepts and norms that prevailed in her time, as she was the first fashion designer or woman working in the profession of sewing, penetrated the velvet community and the world of art and literature, to be on top of glory and fame throughout her career, and even Her death.
Coco Chanel, the French fashion designer, a woman who, with her strong will, talent and intelligence, was able to lift herself from the inevitable poverty of those like her in orphanages, into the world of the wealthy to establish new concepts of women’s fashion, and to become the wealthiest businesswoman of the women of her generation.
Like any character, she was a phenomenon in her time and beyond, and a reference for many academics and researchers, whether in terms of her life career, her achievements and even her friendships, for her biography to be written by many, and for every book to reveal a new aspect of her life history.
Stations in the life of Coco Chanel
Chanel, whose real name is Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, has gone through many stops in her life, since leaving the orphanage when she was eighteen, starting from a textile store worker, to singing as a hat-maker, as a fashion designer and businesswoman of the first order.
There is no doubt that her upbringing played a major role in her success and fame. The effect of her upbringing is represented in the first side through her suffering from poverty and orphanhood, and on the other hand the absence of red lines represented by the norms and traditions of society that somehow determine the course of human life.
She set out from the orphanage, after she was armed with the profession of sewing and the wider experience she gained in knitting among her relatives, where she spent her vacations during the years of her life in the shelter between the ages of twelve and eighteen. Her obsession at the time was to cross the poverty line without returning. She started working for a while in a fabric store, and from there she moved to work as a singer in some cafes and bars, where she acquired her title (Coco) through two songs associated with her.
And before talking about her experience as a fashion designer for theatrical performances and in cinema, we remember the beginnings of her practical experience with design after leaving her singing experience in 1908, which lasted for three years as a result of her failure to get a steady job as a singer, then opened her first store in Paris in 1910.
In it, the women’s hats of her design were displayed, as for the funding of the store, she obtained it from her wealthy French lover Etienne in San, and later from her young British lover, Captain Arthur Edward (Boy) Cabell, whose friendship continued with him until his death in a car accident in 1919, knowing that both of them inserted them into the velvet fabric of society .
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The beginnings of success
With her intelligence, Chanel invested in her social connections, attracting to her store the women of the velvet community who liked the designs of her elegant and simple hats. Soon she opened branches in Paris as well, and entered the world of design to be the first to free women from the custom of using girdles that put pressure on their bodies.
It was also the first to use the (jersey) cloth in women’s fashion in the 1920’s. Its comfortable designs of shirts, ensembles (tayors), pants and relatively short skirts compared to its predecessors, met with great success and widespread popularity.
Events and circumstances
In 1922 Chanel introduced the perfume (Chanel No. 5), which is still very popular today, and through which it made millions, especially during the period of World War II, when it exploited its relationship with the Nazis to file a complaint against the company of the Jewish brothers Wertheimer that produced the perfume, with the aim of increasing Her share of the profits was 10%, and what she earned during the war amounted to the equivalent of nine million dollars in our time.
As a result of her emotional relationship with one of the Nazi officers, she was put on trial, which prompted her to leave her country and settle in Switzerland, to stay there until a whole era until 1954. With her return to Paris, she was able after a short time to regain her place at the forefront of fashion houses, and she was widely popular in Europe and America except for France that did not forget its history with the Nazis.
In the cinema
In 1931, Chanel met in Monte Carlo and through her friend, Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovich, a cousin of Caesar Russia, to Hollywood movie producer Samuel Goldwyn (1879 1974), who offered her millions of dollars (the equivalent of 75 million today) in exchange for her coming to Hollywood twice a day. The year, for the costume design of the stars of the film company (MGM) representatives. She was traveling from New York to California in her own white locomotive, equipped with all sorts of luxury. And she said in one of the press interviews in 1932, (I will see what the cinema will offer me and what I will present to it).
Goldwyn’s goal in Chanel’s invitation was to attract a wide range of women to cinema to see contemporary fashion in order to overcome the depression crisis of cinema in the context of the economic crisis that America was facing at the time.
Chanel soon realized what Hollywood cinema meant to her after she designed the costumes for three films, namely, (Wonderful Days) in 1931, (Either Tonight or…) in the same year, and (The Greeks have a word for her) in 1932, despite the great success that she achieved In the three films, Chanel left Hollywood without returning, as she had difficulty accepting the idea of being a follower of the stars, along with the refusal of some actresses to wear her outfits that did not include enough excitement in their opinion. Notable actresses who have dressed include Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Gloria Swanson.
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Movies about Chanel
The first film that dealt with an aspect of Chanel’s life was titled (Solitaire Chanel) in 1981, directed by George Casinder, and then followed by the movie (Coco Before Chanel) in 2009 that deals with the story of her childhood and starred Audrey Tutu, the new spokeswoman for Chanel. As for the movie (Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky) in 2009, it is directed by Anna Moglalis and Mads Mikkelsen, and it deals with the relationship between her and that musician.
Novels about Chanel
Chris Greenhalg wrote the novel Coco and Igor in 2003, which was later turned into a movie, in which he dealt with the creative side of the relationship between the two. In 2008, a children’s book (as different as Coco) was published, which deals with Coco’s humble childhood and the histories of her dramatic development in the fashion world.
In 2009, she published the novel (The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Lessons from Life from the World of the First Lady of Elegance) by Karen Carbo. Recently, a biographical book appeared entitled (Coco Chanel: An Affectionate Life) by writer Lisa Chaney, which sparked great interest due to its disclosure of a new aspect of her personal life.
We have presented to you, dear reader, the success story of Coco Chanel, so do not forget to share and publish it with others so that everyone benefits.
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