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 The Fashion Empire of Chanel brought in over $160 million a year at her death. The genius behind this empire was Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel or her designer name, Coco Chanel. Moving from one home to another in her childhood, she desired a husband and a family. Chanel never married and never had children. Chanel's fashion creations revolutionized and set the standard for the fashion industry. She forever changed the way women looked and the way women looked at themselves.

 At the age of twelve, Coco Chanel's mother had died and her father had left. Her two aunts raised her until the age of seventeen; Chanel was brought to live with the nuns in the Aubazine orphanage. There she developed feelings of loneliness and mental anguish. These themes would be with her throughout her adult life. The young Chanel desired nothing more in life than marriage and the love of a husband. Perhaps it was the lack of a "classic" familial system that caused these unfulfilled dreams.

 Chanel would never marry nor would she have children. According to some rumors, Chanel was unable to have children because of a botched abortion attempt in her youth. This would be one of the many examples of the rumors that plagued Chanel. Chanel had many relationships with men in her lifetime. Chanel had a love for men in high places. She dated a Russian Duke, an English Duke, an aristroct named Etienne Balsan, and a Nazi officer. Her love affair with the Nazi officer would get her exiled to Switzerland. In 1971, at the age of eighty-seven, while staying in her private quarters at the Ritz-Hotel, Coco Chanel died.

 Coco Chanel did not always dream of becoming a famous fashion designer. She danced, attempted to be an actress, sold hosiery, rode horses, dispensed mineral water, and worked as a cabaret singer. Coco Chanel opened her first millinery store in 1909 in Paris. With Chanel's obsessive dedication and Etienne Balsan, a playboy who would finance her, the store would become a success. This says quite a lot about Chanel that she was able to turn a small boutique that employed two teenage girls into one of the most profitable fashion houses of all time.

 She won enough acclaim to set up a second shop in Paris. The luxurious clothes, fabrics, and jewelry impacted her second collection and she located the second shop in an area that was easily accessible to very wealthy people. Staples of modern day fashion, which she introduced to the world; the bobbed hair style, pants for women, "little black dresses", the elimination of the corset from women's fashion, haute couture skiing accessories, the unisex style of dressing, sunbathing, the use of knit jersey, the women's bathing suit, and sports fashion. She also became a Hollywood fashion designer. Attendance was down in theaters, so in an effort to attract women theatergoers, studios asked Chanel to design costumes that would appeal to women. Probably the single element that most ensured Chanel's being remembered was not a piece of clothing but a perfume named after her, Chanel No. 5. It was first launched in its art deco bottle in 1923. It was the first perfume to bear a designer's name.

 Despite all her successes and with the Italian designer, Schiaparelli, moving in on the fashion front, Chanel chose to retire in 1938. For the next 15 years, she moved back in forth between Vichy and Switzerland. In 1954, Chanel decided to make a comeback. Depending on the source, Chanel's return to the fashion world was attributed to the falling perfume sales. Her fashion empire at her death brought in over $160 million dollars a year. The German Karl Lagerfeld has assumed the artistic directorship of the House of Chanel since 1954. Certainly it can be said that Chanel did an incredible amount for the development of fashion. By maintaining her incredible business sense, and her uniqueness, Chanel helped create what modern fashion is considered today.

 Coco Chanel was an entrepreneur who was determined to break old formulas and invent new ways of expressing herself. By her death in1971, the French couturier had long since established herself as the twentieth century's single most important arbiter of fashion.

For More Information Check Out The Following Websites!

Time 100: Artists & Entertainers - Coco Chanel.

In this site you will find informative information on mainly focusing on the professional life of Chanel.

The Marginal Creator.

In this site you will find intreasting facts and information about the personal and perfessional life of Chanel.

In this site you will find helpful and concise information focusing on the professional history of Chanel.