Gabrielle Chanel is born on August 19, 1883, in a hospice in Saumur, France run by nuns called the Sisters of Providence. Her mother Eugence Jeanne Devolles was only 20 years old at that time and already had another daughter, Julia, born only less than a year before. Her father, Albert Chanel was 28 and was a merchant who was always away on travel. Both her mother and father had been consistently on the move never putting roots down for the children.
Her mother died when she was only six years old and her father splits all four siblings apart. Her siblings were Julia, Alphones, Antoinette, Lucien and Augustin. Yet Augustin died sometime in infancy.
The boys are left with a peasant family to work as unpaid labor and the girls are sent to the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Mary, a Monastery and Abbey run by nuns (Picardie 276). Gabrielle stayed there until the age of eighteen. Her father never came back to claim any of the children. It was at the orphanage that she learned to sew for there was little else to do other than pray and sleep (344).
After turning eighteen Gabrielle went to live with one of her fathers’ siblings, Adrienne. The two women got along great for Adrienne was only a year older than Gabrielle. The two had secured work as a shop assistant and seamstress. It was there that the pair caught the attention of soldiers’ who would come in to have their uniforms tailored.
Soon, they were goi...
... middle of paper ...
...o adapt and change to keep up with the times, yet still keeping Chanel in the forefront.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel came from very rough beginnings and was ahead of her time in the fashion industry. She received a hard go at business; she was revolutionizing the women’s fashion industry. This is what made her a very sought after designer. Today the House of Chanel is a franchise with 120 boutiques, upscale department stores and online resources to buy her wares (Chanel SA History). Something that the company prides itself on and adheres to is refusing to sell any of her clothing lines on the World Wide Web. As the brands’ president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky states in an article by Vogue "Our clothes are quite sophisticated and one of our strengths is alterations." This is how Chanel has always run her business and it continues to run this way even after her death.
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