The story of Chanel herself has become legend. After growing up in an orphanage, Gabrielle Chanel – born 19th August 1883, in Saumur – went on to open her first Paris boutique, selling hats, at 21 Rue Cambon in 1910.
The Chanel clothes – and the fragrances – have been loved and worn by stars all over the world, though perhaps Chanel’s most famous endorsement of all was from Marilyn Monroe, who in 1960 breathlessly proclaimed: ‘What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course…’
Coco Chanel died on 10th January 1971 in Paris, on the eve of presenting her latest collection – and later that year, the rest of us were able to enjoy the floral-green masterpiece No. 19.