Coco Chanel was one of the most influential fashion designers of the Twentieth Century and she was the first significant female fashion designer. The fashion world was impacted by Chanel’s phoenix like return to fashion after her retirement in 1953. Chanel introduced men and women to practical yet elegant styles. Although Chanel has been deceased for forty-one years her undeniable influence on fashion and women’s roles in society will be remembered for generations to come. Coco Chanel was an iconic designer and continues to inspire men and women around the world.
Like many successful designers Coco had humble beginnings as a hat designer in 1910. Her unique hat styles made her noteworthy in the Parisian millinery market. Coco Chanel opened her first millinery boutique in 1912 Paris. Her fashions were so in demand that she had three boutiques by 1915. Her focus in fashion was on the relatively new area of women’s sportswear. On both sides of the Atlantic, Chanel was making fashion news. Chanel was becoming the leading example of the new woman (Wallach 28). Due to World War I, Chanel’s designs were very simple and elegant so the working wartime woman could obtain and utilize her popular fashions. The fashion world was recognizing Chanel for her luxurious yet practical designs which were unique in the fashion market.
Chanel’s clothes expressed freedom in every piece. She empowered women through fashion. As Chanel said “There are people who have money and people who are rich” expressed how she lived her life. (Dunn). Chanel did not allow her rich and royal clients to treat her with disrespect. Chanel believed she was the best and she required her clients to honor her wishes. In 1920 the silhouet...
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...ows no time, an ease that is still a hallmark of good design (Chaney 374). Coco Chanel still influences women in the fashion world one-hundred and twenty nine years after her birth. Coco Chanel’s influence can be summed up best by her own words “Fashion changes but style endures” (Wallach 336).
Chaney, Lisa. Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life. New York: Viking 2011
Dunn, Jennifer. “Coco Chanel and Fashion” Transcriptions.com 12 Dec 1999 http://transcriptions.english.uscb.edu/archive/topics/infoart/chanel/>
Inoue, Mizuho. “Coco Chanel” pdx.edu 23 February 2012 http://www.wc.pdx.edu/chanel/chanel.html
Picardie, Justine. Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life. New York: Harper Collins, 2010
Wallach, Janet. Chanel: Her Style and Her Life. New York: Doubleday, 1998
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