Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel


Born: 1883

Chanel is considered the most significant designer of the 20th century. She introduced the little black dress, sweater sets, the pleated skirt, triangular scarves, and fake pearl necklaces; she pioneered the use of knit jersey as a fashion fabric; and she produced the first artificial suntan lotion. She manufactured her own perfume, which she called Chanel No. 5, after her lucky number. Chanel was also famous for changing black from a color of mourning to a color of elegance. It is said that Coco Chanel knew what women wanted to wear before they knew it themselves.

Died: 1971
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