Chanel, Gabrielle

Chanel, Gabrielle
known as Coco Chanel

born Aug. 19, 1883, Saumur, France
died Jan. 10, 1971, Paris

French fashion designer.

Little is known of her early life. In 1913 she opened a millinery shop in Deauville, and within five years her innovative use of jersey fabric and accessories was attracting wealthy patrons. Her nonconformist designs, stressing simplicity and comfort, revolutionized the fashion industry for the next 30 years. She popularized turtleneck sweaters, the "little black dress," and the much-copied "Chanel suit." Chanel industries included a Parisian fashion house, a textile business, perfume laboratories, and a workshop for costume jewelry. The financial basis of her empire was Chanel No. 5 perfume, introduced in 1922 and still popular.

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▪ French designer
born Aug. 19, 1883, Saumur, Fr.

died Jan. 10, 1971, Paris
 French dress designer who ruled over Parisian haute couture for almost six decades. Her elegantly casual designs inspired women of fashion to abandon complicated, uncomfortable clothes and to adopt her now-classic innovations—i.e., jersey dresses and suits, bell-bottom trousers, bobbed hair, trench coats, turtleneck sweaters, costume jewelry, and the “little black dress.”
      Born in the French countryside, Chanel was orphaned at the age of six. Little is known about the rest of her early life. In 1913 she opened a tiny millinery shop in Deauville, Fr. She quickly added sweaters, skirts, and accessories to the shop. Within five years her original use of jersey fabric to create a “poor girl” look had attracted the attention of influential wealthy women seeking relief from prevalent corseted styles. Her nonconformist designs stressing simplicity and comfort revolutionized the fashion industry for the next 30 years. At the height of her career, the Chanel industries employed 3,500 people and included a fashion house, a textile business, perfume laboratories, and a workshop for costume jewelry. The financial basis of this empire was Chanel No. 5, the phenomenally successful perfume introduced in 1922.

      Chanel retired in 1938 but returned in 1954 to introduce her highly copied suit design: a collarless, braid-trimmed cardigan jacket with a graceful skirt.

      Chanel never married, but her liaisons with the wealthy and famous earned her notoriety in the social and artistic circles of Paris.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chanel, Gabrielle — llamada Coco Chanel (19 ago. 1883, Saumur, Francia–10 ene. 1971, París). Diseñadora de modas francesa. Se sabe poco de los inicios de su vida. En 1913 abrió una sombrerería para damas en Deauville, y al cabo de cinco años, su innovador uso de las …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Chanel, Gabrielle (Coco) — (1883 1971)    Born in Samur, France, Chanel began her career as a milliner in 1910 and then, in 1913, showed her first clothing collection. Coco Chanel shared the limelight as a gifted couturière with contemporaries of her time such as Madeleine …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Chanel,Gabrielle Bonheur — Cha·nel (shə nĕlʹ), Gabrielle Bonheur. Known as “Coco.” 1883 1971. French fashion designer famous for her tailored suits and dresses and for her line of perfumes, particularly Chanel No. 5. * * * …   Universalium

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  • CHANEL (G.) — CHANEL GABRIELLE (1883 1971) Née à Saumur dans un milieu modeste, Gabrielle Chanel commence le métier de modiste à Paris, boulevard Malesherbes, dans le local que lui prête son protecteur Étienne Balsan, un riche célibataire passionné de courses… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Chanel: Am Anfang war der Hut —   Kindheit und Jugend   Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel wurde am 19. August 1883 in Saumur (Maine et Loire) als zweites Kind des ledigen Markthändlerpaares Albert Chanel und Eugenie Jeanne Devolle geboren. Die Eltern heirateten zwar am 17. November 1884 …   Universal-Lexikon

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