Chanel, Coco

BORN 19 Aug 1883, Saumur, Maine-et-Loire - DIED 10 Jan 1971, Paris
BIRTH NAME Chanel, Gabrielle Bonheur
GRAVE LOCATION Lausanne, Vaud: Cimetière de Bois-de-Vaux, Route de Chavannes 2 (section 9, concession 129-130-131)

Gabrielle Bonheur 'Coco' Chanel came from a family of peasants. In 1913 she opened a shop in Paris where she sold fashion. In 1916 she opened her famous Maison de Couture in the Rue Cambon. She was among the first women to wear the boyish short hair that would be populair during the 1920s.

She was famous for designing fashion as well as producing perfumes. Her strapless and backless black dress first shocked the public but is was an instant success. Her Chanel No. 5 became the best selling perfume in the world (Ernst Beaux created at the request in 1921).

She was active for over 60 years and she had affairs with Grand Duke Dmitri of Russia (during the early 1920s), the Duke of Windsor and the poet Pierre Reverdy. During the First World War she served as a nurse for a short time. During the Second World War she had an affair with Nazi officer Hans Gunther von Dincklage. This affected her popularity and she moved to Switzerland. In 1954 she was back in the spotlights and she continued her work until her death in 1971.

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The grave of Coco Chanel at the Cimetière de Bois de Vaux, Lausanne.
Picture by Androom (05 Dec 2007)


• Cullen, Catherine, Paris, The Woman's Travel Guide, Virago Press, London, 1993
Coco Chanel - Wikipedia

Chaplin, Charly

Published: 06 Jun 2008
Last update: 16 May 2020