Coco Chanel

Fashion Designer
Born Aug 19, 1883

Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was an influential French fashion designer, founder of the famous brand Chanel, whose modernist thought, practical design, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important and influential figure in 20th-century fashion. She was the only fashion designer to be named on Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.… Read More

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1883 Birth Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was born in 1883 to an unmarried mother, Eugénie Jeanne Devolle—known as Jeanne—a laundrywoman, in the charity hospital run by the Sisters of Providence (a poorhouse) in Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France. … Read More
1884 Birth In 1884, he married Jeanne Devolle, persuaded to do so by her family who had "united, effectively, to pay Albert to marry her." … Read More


1906 - 1908 2 More Events
1910 26 Years Old Chanel had begun designing hats while living with Balsan, initially as a diversion that evolved into a commercial enterprise. She became a licensed milliner in 1910 and opened a boutique at 21 rue Cambon, Paris, named Chanel Modes. … Read More
1912 28 Years Old Chanel's millinery career bloomed once theatre actress Gabrielle Dorziat wore her hats in Fernand Nozière's play Bel Ami in 1912. … Read More
1913 29 Years Old In 1913, Chanel opened a boutique in Deauville, financed by Arthur Capel, where she introduced deluxe casual clothes suitable for leisure and sport. … Read More


1915 - 1916 2 More Events
1918 34 Years Old 1 More Event
Even after Capel married an English aristocrat, Lady Diana Wyndham in 1918, he did not completely break off with Chanel. … Read More
1920 36 Years Old In the spring of 1920 (approximately May), Chanel was introduced to the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky by Sergei Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballets Russes. … Read More
1922 38 Years Old In 1922, at the Longchamps races, Théophile Bader, founder of the Paris Galeries Lafayette, introduced Chanel to businessman Pierre Wertheimer. … Read More
1923 39 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1923, Vera Bate Lombardi, (born Sarah Gertrude Arkwright), reputedly the illegitimate daughter of the Marquess of Cambridge, afforded Chanel entry into the highest levels of British aristocracy. … Read More


1927 43 Years Old In 1927, the Duke of Westminster gave Chanel a parcel of land he had purchased in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the French Riviera. … Read More
1932 48 Years Old En route to California from New York, traveling in a white train car luxuriously outfitted for her use, Chanel was interviewed by Colliers magazine in 1932. … Read More


1935 51 Years Old 1 More Event
Her involvement with Iribe was a deep one until his sudden death in 1935. … Read More
1936 - 1940 2 More Events
1941 57 Years Old Vaughan establishes that Chanel committed herself to the German cause as early as 1941 and worked for General Walter Schellenberg, chief of SS intelligence. … Read More
1943 59 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1943, Chanel traveled to Berlin with her lover, Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage, an Abwehr spy, to meet with SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler to formulate strategy.


1944 - 1945 2 More Events
1952 68 Years Old Chanel paid for Schellenberg's medical care and living expenses, financially supported his wife and family, and paid for Schellenberg's funeral upon his death in 1952.
1953 69 Years Old In 1953 she sold her villa La Pausa on the French Riviera to the publisher and translator Emery Reves. … Read More
1954 70 Years Old The revival of her couture house in 1954 was fully financed by Chanel's opponent in the perfume battle, Pierre Wertheimer. … Read More
1955 71 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Following her comeback, Chanel updated the design in February 1955, creating what would become the "2.55" (named for the date of its creation). … Read More
1970 86 Years Old …  In 1970, her net worth was $19 billion (equivalent to $118 billion in 2015), making her one of the richest women of all time. … Read More
1971 87 Years Old 1 More Event
As 1971 began, Chanel was 87 years old, tired, and ailing. … Read More
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