Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, also famously known as Coco Chanel, was a French fashion designer who was famous for revolutionizing the history of women’s fashion. During the Roaring Twenties, she created elegant designs of clothing that were both comfortable and stylish for women. Coco Chanel has become the absolute inspiration of Parisian haute couture, which she ruled for nearly six decades. She introduced trends that are still well-known today, including the “little black dress”, the Chanel suit, costume jewellry, and the quilted suit. During the 19th century, women’s clothing was usually very elegant but also uncomfortable. For example, corsets and long skirts were impractical and restricted lots of movement. However, when Coco Chanel became involved in the fashion industry, she quickly renewed women’s fashion into being more comfortable and practical, and became one of the top influencers of the Twentieth Century.Coco Chanel was born into poverty on August 19, 1883 in Saumur, France. When Chanel was twelve years old, her mother died of tuberculosis, and her father, who was a peddler, was left to care for five children. He sent them to distant relatives, where Chanel’s two brothers were sent to work as farm laborers, and her two sisters and her were sent to an orphanage of Catholic monastery of Aubazine. Chanel was raised by nuns for most of her childhood and taught how to sew, which introduced her to the trade of a seamstress. After she left her orphanage at the age of 18, she moved to Moulins. She started working as a seamstress and earned some money as a cafe singer, but later realized that her singing wouldn’t get her a successful stage career. Chanel got her nickname “Coco”, from a famous song she used sing “Qui Qu’a Vu Coco?”. When she was around 20 years old, Coco Chanel got associated with Etienne Balsan, a wealthy aristocrat. He offered a millinery business for Chanel in Paris. In 1913, Chanel left Etienne Balsan for Arthur Capel, another wealthy gentleman. With Capel’s financial help, Chanel opened a boutique in Deauville, France and mainly sold hats as well as simple sportswear. Chanel’s career went on the rise, when one day, she made herself a dress out of old jersey material when it was cold outside. That day, Chanel got many questions about where she got the dress, and offered people that she could make one for them. “My fortune is built on that old jersey that I’d put on because it was cold in Deauville,” said Coco Chanel. In the 1920s, Chanel launched her first ever designer’s name perfume, Chanel No. 5. Considering that Chanel couldn’t manufacture and produce this fragrance on her own, Théophile Bader, a department store owner, had backed her up in the business, as well as businessmen, Paul and Pierre Wertheimer. Chanel was quite close to one of the brothers, Pierre, and him and his brother were able to help her out. The deal between the four of them consisted of an unfair profit division; the Wertheimer business would receive 70 percent of the profit for producing Chanel No. 5 at their factories, Théophile Bader would take 20 percent, and Chanel would only receive 10 percent of the profit. However, she later sued so the terms of this deal would be renegotiated, seeing that her fragrance became a great source of revenue over the years. Chanel would overpower her failure and constantly introduced new fashion trends like the legendary Chanel suit and the little black dress. Her clothing made women move on from uncomfortable trends of the 19th century, making her an iconic figure in the world of fashion. Coco Chanel also designed costumes for the Ballets Russes and a famous play by Jean Cocteau – Orphée. Even Pablo Picasso and composer, Igor Stravinsky, were both of her friends! Chanel’s most important romance began in the 1920s, when she met the duke of Westminster, Hugh Richard Arthur Grosvenor. Their relationship lasted forteen years and eventually he proposed to Chanel, but she declined saying, “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster – but there is only one Chanel”. Towards the 1930s, Chanel’s business suffered from the international economic depression and leading up to WWII, she closed her shops and stated that “war was not a time for fashion”. This caused Chanel to fire many workers and she completely lost her business during that time period. Afterward, Coco Chanel got romantically involved with a German military officer, Hans Gunther von Dincklage, during the German occupation of France. This lead her to a special admission stay in a luxury apartment in Hotel Ritz, while the war lasted. During her lifetime, Chanel had many relationships with influential men her entire life, but never decided to get married or have kids. After the war, in September 1944, Coco Chanel was arrested for having a love affair with a German SS-Brigadefuhrer. However, she was released a few hours after her detention. Shortly after that, Chanel moved to Switzerland and lived there for about 10 years. After Chanel’s big break from fashion, she moved back to Paris and came across many evolving fashionistas, who all thought “Chanel” was a brand of perfume. Chanel got back to work in the fashion industry and created a new collection of elegance. The fashion critics of Paris despised Chanel’s new collection, claiming that her designs were nothing new. She revised her work and sent it overseas to America, people were astounded. By expanding her business to America, much more people started wearing her timeless designs, like the little black dress, and her brand grew more and more. On January 10, 1971, Chanel passed away, feeling ill in her bed in the Hotel Ritz in Paris, France. The Coco Chanel business has since been managed by the Wertheimer family.Coco Chanel had a life full of adventures and followed her stylish dreams, as she became a famous fashion icon in the Roaring Twenties. Though she faced many challenges and failures, Chanel overcame her mistakes and improved her designs. Chanel opened up a whole new world of fashion when she started making comfortable clothes while keeping her elegance. The relationships that Chanel went through were all with wealthy men, who helped her expand her business. Overall, her hard-working self proved that even with a troubled childhood, a person can become known and significant, even beyond their lifetime.