Coco Chanel Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1883 - 1971 *** Full Name: Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel *** Nickname: Coco *** Date of Birth: Coco Chanel was born on August 19th 1883 *** Place of Birth: Coco Chanel was born in Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France *** Religion: Coco Chanel was possible raised as Catholic *** Occupation: French Fashion Designer *** Date of Death: Coco Chanel died on January 10th 1971 *** Place of Death: Coco Chanel died in Paris, France ***
Coco Chanel Fact 1: Coco Chanel was born on August 19th 1883 in Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France and would become synonymous with fashion.
Coco Chanel Fact 2: Family: She came from a family that was into poverty. Her father was Albert Chanel who was nothing more than a street vendor who sold undergarments and work clothes and her mother was a laundrywoman, Eugenie Jeanne Devolle, who found work in a charity hospital run by the Sisters of Providence which was basically a poorhouse in Saumur. The couple eventually married but was at the behest of Jeanne’s family paying him to do so. Siblings: She grew up with an older sister, Julia, one year older than herself as well as two brothers and two further sisters.
Coco Chanel Fact 3: Education: The only kind of education she received in the orphanage was the art of sewing.
Coco Chanel Fact 4: Career: She began her career as a seamstress.
Coco Chanel Fact 5: At the age of twelve, Coco’s mother died or bronchitis leaving her father with no way of caring for his children. He sent his daughters to the convent of Aubazine who also ran the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Mary in central France which was largely an orphanage while he sent his two sons out to work.
Coco Chanel Fact 6: When she became too old to remain in the orphanage she left and was fortunate to find employment as a seamstress.
Coco Chanel Fact 7: The majority of her work was for the officers of the cavalry and when she was not busy sewing she could be found in a local cabaret.
Coco Chanel Fact 8: While working at Moulins she met the very wealthy textile heir and ex-cavalry officer, Etienne Balsan and at twenty three years old supplanted the courtesan Emilienne d’Alencon as Balsan’s latest mistress.
Coco Chanel Fact 9: They lived in the chateau Royallieu which was near Compiegne and a life of wealth and leisure was lived by Coco for the next three years.
Coco Chanel Fact 10: It was in 1908 that she started an affair with Captain Arthur Edward Capel who had been a friend of Balsan. Capel himself was also from a very wealthy English family. He arranged for Chanel to live in Paris in an apartment he paid for. He would also be the one to finance her first ventures.
Coco Chanel Fact 11: Although Coco held out hopes that they would marry, Capel would never be and was not, faithful to her. After a nine year affair he married an English aristocrat although he still had ties to Chanel until his death in a car accident a year after his marriage.
Coco Chanel Fact 12: Chanel was known to confide in a friend that “That his death was a terrible blow to me. In losing Capel, I lost everything. What followed was not a life of happiness, I have to say.”.
Coco Chanel Fact 13: During her time with Balsan she had started designing hats and would become a licensed milliner by 1910 and opened her own boutique name Chanel Modes in Paris.
Coco Chanel Fact 14: Capel financed he boutique in Deaville which she opened in 1913 in which she sold deluxe clothing for casual wear which was suitable for sport or leisure.
Coco Chanel Fact 15: She had two family members assister her, her sister Antoinette and her aunt Adrienne, a very young aunt, the product of a liaison of her grandfather’s much later in his life. The two women paraded around the very fashionable town in Chanel’s creations.
Coco Chanel Fact 16: During 1918 she purchased a whole building in Paris and by 1927 she was the owner of five properties.Coco Chanel Fact 17: One of Chanel’s closest friends was Misia Sert, attended convent schools and had many shared confidences and interests amongst which would become drug use.
Coco Chanel Fact 18: In 1923 Chanel was introduced into the British aristocracy by Vera Bate Lambardi who was reputed to be the illegitimate daughter of the Marquess of Cambridge. She began socializing with the likes of Winston Churchill, the Duke of Westminster and the Prince of Wales, Edward. It was the Duke of Westminster with whom Chanel would have an affair that would last ten years.
Coco Chanel Fact 19: She built up her business over several decades that included not just clothing but perfume and cosmetics.
Coco Chanel Fact 20: Coco Chanel died on January 10th 1971 in her suite in the Hotel Ritz aged eighty seven years. Her body laid to rest in the Bois-de-Vaux Cemetery, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Influence & Legacy of Coco Chanel:
Harper’s Bazaar once printed “The woman who hasn’t at least one Chanel is hopelessly out of fashion … This season the name Chanel is on the lips of every buyer.”
Short Facts about Coco Chanel for Kids
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of Coco Chanel. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Coco Chanel with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.