5 Incredible Facts about Coco Chanel
Creator of the legendary Chanel fashion house, Coco Chanel was a fabulous woman who created fashion forward designs out of her modest studio in Paris during the early 1920s. While her reputation as a designer certainly precedes her, it’s safe to say that her reach extends far beyond just pretty clothing. There are plenty of hidden secrets about Coco Chanel that many people are unaware of.
Here are 5 incredible facts about Coco Chanel – the fashion designer who changed the world.
“Coco” Began as a Stage Name
After she turned 18, Gabrielle Chanel worked as a seamstress during the day and a stage performer at night. During her time as a cabaret singer at local cafes she adopted the nickname “Coco,” a pseudonym that would become nothing short of legendary. Some sources say that she earned the moniker after singing a rendition of the popular song “Who Has Seen Coco?” Others state that it alluded to her “coquettish” looks. Either way, Coco Chanel was destined for much bigger stages than the local cabaret.
Her Menswear-inspired Looks Were Revolutionary
While culture and fashion were making exceptionally progressive strides during the 1920s, it was still nearly unheard of for women to wear anything other than skirts or dresses. Even articles of clothing that hit at the mid-calf were considered a scandal during this decade. Despite strict social norms, Chanel threw out the rulebook and became the first fashion designer to create pants and other menswear-inspired looks for women.
She began by creating silky, wide legged trousers, which wealthy French women started wearing over their swimming suits as they vacationed in the French Riviera. These “beach pajamas” or “yachting pants” were the very first step in women adopting pants into their everyday wear. Chanel went on to design structured trousers and pantsuits for women, which mirrored her own penchant for wearing menswear-inspired outfits around Paris.
People Were Inspired by Her Sunburn
Pale skin was all the rage during the early 1900s. That is, however, until Chanel accidentally got a sunburn while on vacation in the South of France. When she returned to Paris, her wealthy friends all admired her golden glow and having a deep tan soon became fashionable. Even if you’ve never worn her designs, if you’ve ever sunbathed, you owe it to the influence of Ms. Chanel.
She Called the Ritz “Home”
Although she maintained an apartment above her flagship boutique on the famous Rue de Cambon in Paris, during the German occupation of Paris during World War II, she claimed residence at the Hotel Ritz. She eventually sold her villa on the French Riviera and remained a resident of the Hotel Ritz for nearly 30 years. She even passed away in 1971 in her quarters at the fabulous hotel.
Her Legacy Lives On
Her revolutionary designs changed the face of fashion, her signature scent is forever associated with refinement, and her fabulous accessories are increasingly relevant as time goes on. It’s safe to say that Coco Chanel’s legacy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
If that wasn’t enough, popular publications are happy to solidify her status as a true legend. Not only was Chanel included on TIME Magazine’s 100 “Most Important People of the Century,” she was the only fashion designer to make the cut. Incredibly influential, this stylish lady’s impact still resonates throughout the world.