The name of this woman entered the history not only of fashion, but also of all human civilization. At the same time, she created it for herself in the literal and figurative sense. At birth, she was called Gabriel Boehner, and the whole world knew her as Coco Chanel. Her quotes speak of the reasons for success, which are more eloquent than the tangible achievements themselves, familiar to everyone in the form of elegant dresses, perfumes and accessories. Sayings of the owner of the fashion house are laconic, labels and sometimes merciless, but always accurately determine her life position and views on art, into which she turned the process of designing a female image, taking it beyond the usual tailoring skills and decorations. Chanel became one of the symbols of France for all times.

Coco Chanel's most famous saying

Childhood Boner Chanel

Koko herself in her later years diminished herself a dozen years, claiming that she was born on August 19, 1893, but this sweet attempt to appear (and perhaps become) younger than that to the genius. The same applies to the place of birth: instead of the provincial Saumur, she called the city of Auvergne, also, however, not the most famous in France. The story of Coco Chanel began later, and while little Boner lived in need, her father (her parents were not officially married, and her mother soon died) could not feed her daughter and gave her to a shelter at the monastery. There, all the girls were dressed the same way, and perhaps it was then that the first ideas arose about who would like to wear what and how.

Singer coco

Having reached the age of majority, she decided to become a singer, but in this field she did not succeed. She performed the then very plain songs “Qui qu’a vu Coco” (who saw Koko?) And “Ko Ri Ko” (Ku-ka-ry-ku) and took a pseudonym in tune with the words that sound like a refrain in the verses. Despite the weak vocal data, Koko attracted the attention of officer Etienne Balzan, who (like many now) obviously looked more at the scene than he listened. So began her adult life. Balzan was generous and saw in his young darling not only a lovely girl, but also a person demanding realization. He bought her a small shop-workshop. The girl was capable and talented needlewoman.

The hats that the craftswoman offered to the buyers were successful, they were readily bought, and soon the moment of complete financial independence came. Boehner left her landlord and healed on her own, although not alone, having got a new lover — Arthur Capel, a wealthy industrialist. Coco Chanel's statement that the highest form of generosity is the forgiveness of ingratitude, most likely refers to this period of her biography and is based, like many others, on personal experience.

The address “Cambon Street, No. 31, Paris” even now means the place where the Chanel store is located; it was opened there in 1910, becoming the first in the newly created empire. The main product at first were only hats for women, but later on the range was expanded.

Perfume as part of the image

Coco Chanel about fashion

The twenties of the 20th century are considered the age of jazz and elegant luxury. At the same time, expensive things acquired simplified forms, excesses were considered tasteless, and any forms of ornateness did not fit into the general fashion trend. Having caught the trend, Coco Chanel contributed to the annals of this aesthetic era. Quotes on this topic concern the very definition of fashion and its understanding:

- Fashion should go out, but not come from it.

- Luxury and fashion - sisters.

If fashionable clothes don't wear on the street, they are not fashionable. If they wear only in the living rooms and salons, it is a costume party, and again for fashion has no relation.

- Fashion passes, the style remains.

The famous dress of Chanel, black and small (1926), became the materialization of the theory of modest and laconic elegance. As for accessories, Madame Coco advised not to trust her own taste and to remove the last item she wore, avoiding excess in this way.


Coco Chanel believed that fashion items just have to be comfortable. The image created by them, should be a single composition with its other elements, such as hair, shoes, accessories and, of course, fragrance. But these ideas, revolutionary at the time, still had to receive public recognition. Clothes that were previously not worn by rich people got into the category of fashionable from the light hand of a genius. Chanel promoted short haircuts and pants. It is also characteristic of what Coco Chanel said in the thirties about beauty:

- An ugly woman is just lazy.

- The living is never ugly.

- At 20 a person is given by nature, at 30 it is fashioned by life, and at 50 it is deserved.

- If there is no real woman in the dress, then there is no dress either.

About men

Fashionable things are bought by women, but they are not really appreciated by them, Coco Chanel understood that perfectly. She talked a lot about men and showed remarkable knowledge of the subject. These statements sometimes provoke protests of feminists (for example, the identification of a man with God), but they are far from always flattering in relation to the stronger sex. Aphorisms are rather objective and have practical meaning, because if men were not in the world, women would stop dressing and fashion houses would lose their profits. In addition, Chanel has more general phrases, in which both humor and irony are present:

- For a man, a woman is only a means, and his goal is sex.

- There are no ugly men, and there shouldn't be any beautiful ones.

- Even with a huge shortage of men should not choose freaks.

- Only those who are capable of action are doomed to reciprocity.

- A man does not think about the future before the wedding, and the woman after her.

- A man can afford to be funny, but only if he is a genius.

About women

Coco Chanel's statements about women are directly related to the relationship between them and men. The desire to instill a taste, she tries to motivate the practical benefits that brings a sense of proportion.

- You should not dress too extravagantly, it frightens men.

- A woman needs beauty to be loved by men, and stupidity to reciprocate.

- A woman must deserve her age.

- The better a woman is dressed, the closer she is to nudity.

- The excessive originality of the costume brings associations with the masquerade.

- No need to envy men, women have everything, and besides, the men themselves too.

- I tried so hard to sew clothes for women, and now they go almost naked.

Coco Chanel's words that, having lost a beloved man, a woman loses everything, betrays her romantic nature. She really believed that all the other novels in a person's life were only throwing in search of the shadow of the most important feeling.

- Love is expensive, it is paid for in installments, and long after it has passed.

- Fate has no reason to lead people without a reason.

- A woman or love, or not, but no "friends" she does not happen.

- Only those who are unlike others remain indispensable.

- Adoration is the main science.

- Love - protection from old age.

- A woman can be a caterpillar by day, but should turn into a butterfly at night.

- To get the best from love, you have to do it.

If you try to determine the purpose of life of this, without a doubt, a great woman, then you can come to the conclusion that she, as a true artist, tried to make the world more beautiful. However, it is possible to judge what she was striving for, not only by tangible results, but also by her thoughts and apt definitions. Coco Chanel talked about beauty is not always in connection with the fashion, clothing and products of their company. Sometimes she mentioned things that cannot be bought even for big money in the best stores in Paris:

- A handsome man is the best accessory to any outfit.

- Beautiful can leave, and the beautiful remains forever.

- Beauty is a combination of comfort and love.

- A woman is stupid if she is ugly.

- There is only one chance to make the first pleasant impression.

- Beauty begins with the soul and the heart; no cosmetics will help without them.

Each statement by Coco Chanel exposes her domineering and selfish nature, which, however, is not alien to a certain self-irony. She finds Saint Laurent's taste amazing and almost impeccable, especially when he imitates her style.

- A man cannot comprehend the secret of a hat at all.

“Glory is loneliness.”

- The weak sometimes get the advantages to the weak, and they brag about them as their own achievements.

- It is necessary to think about yourself, out loud and loud, so that everyone can hear.

- You can not always create something new, otherwise you can never become a classic.

- Everything is in the hands of a man, so they should not fall.

- People do not need fashion, but its creators.

- The Duchess is a lot, this is Coco Chanel alone.

- They invented a skirt to put one leg over the other and armhole - to cross one's arms across the chest.

And one more statement by Coco Chanel, revealing the secret of her success: “People around you often made fun of me. The thing is that I always looked and was not like everyone else. ”

Last aphorism

Coco Chanel's life was full of different events. The circle of her friends were the most interesting people of the era, including painter Pablo Picasso, choreographer Sergei Dygilev, composer Igor Stravinsky, playwright Jean Cocteau, mystic poet Pierre River and even Walter Schellenberg, Himmler’s “right hand” (this was during the Nazi occupation of France) . Her lively mind, wit and originality of thinking invariably attracted men, without whom, by her own admission, she would never become “that same Madame Coco”.

She lived a long, experienced all, and claimed her curiosity was not satisfied in only one: she did not know death.

It happened at the very beginning of 1971. Coco Chanel lived in Paris, by a strange whim, in the posh Ritz Hotel. She was 87 years old.

Coco Chanel was buried in Lausanne, in the Bois de Vaux cemetery. Her grave is decorated with five lion heads - symbols of royal power.