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Happy Birthday Coco Chanel

Katreana Bellew

Posted on August 19 2021

The nineteenth of August marks a historic day in the eyes of all fashion lovers: it's the iconic Coco Chanel’s birthday. For many of us, Chanel is a name that we have always known, before any other of our favorite designers, but how much do we really know about a woman who revolutionized fashion and created the most coveted brand in the industry?

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Born in 1883 (making this birthday her 138th), Gabrielle Chanel was born in Saumur, France to Jeanne DeVolle and Henri-Albert Chasnel. Despite Chanel now being associated with luxury and fine things in life, Gabrielle Chanel grew up tragically orphaned and in poverty after her mother died when she was twelve. After living in a strict church until adulthood, Chanel developed her love of fashion while working as a sales assistant in a shop in Moulin. Simultaneously, she worked as a singer at a nearby cafe where she earned her nickname after a song she sang. Thus, Coco was born from Gabrielle. 

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Coco’s original success in the fashion industry, specifically in hat making, can be partially attributed to a textile heir she was romantically involved with for many years. This man, Etienne de Balsan, aided her in opening her first shop in 1916, which quickly grew in popularity due to its difference to the other fashions available. Rather than create traditional clothes, often involving corsets, Chanel aimed to make comfortable clothes for women that followed sporty silhouettes. This look, usually a skirt, pullover and cardigan paved the way for a new era of women, and it is a look that continues to persist today. 

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Love that sporty chic style Chanel is so known for? Recreate a comfortable, layered look with pieces from Michaels. Pair an ivory cardigan over a bright red blouse with black wool pants that add some edge with quilted pocket details. An outfit to make Coco proud.

True to her famous phrase “fashion passes, style is eternal,” Coco Chanel focused on creating a maintainable look that was consistently classic. Her hope was to emphasize the beauty of each individual woman wearing her design with simple, elegant pieces. The result: the little black dress - a style staple that has remained in women’s closets until the very present. 

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Every season, Chanel brings us classic little black dresses just like this one pictured. Luckily, you don't have to wait until the next collection to get your hands on your own LBD - Michaels has their very own selection of Chanel black dresses like this elegant pearl trim dress for a night out or this long sleeve little black dress for the daytime.

After establishing her signature fragrance Chanel No. 5, as well as many more scents, Coco Chanel also expanded her design repertoire into accessories with costume jewelry and handbags. The extent and variation of her collection can be seen in this showy faux pearl necklace branded by the interlocking 'C' logo, this vintage black straw shoulder bag, and a lace pin so you can wear Chanel with you always.

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World War Two put Chanel on a brief hiatus in the fashion industry, but that was not enough to stop her. After the war, despite being aged 71, Chanel gifted the world with yet another iconic look from the iconic brand - the classic Chanel suit. Often tweed and in varying colors, Chanel suits took the world by storm through various celebrities and pop culture appearances up until the designer’s death in 1971 at age 87. 

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If you're looking to add a smart suit to your closet, we have two bright and fabulous skirt suits by Chanel. Check out our mint green tweed skirt suit and our three piece peach skirt suit set!

Chanel’s brand lived on with the succession of the company’s long-term head designer, Karl Lagerfeld, until his recent death. Despite the change in designers and generations, Chanel continues to be a centerpiece in the fashion industry that shapes the way we dress everyday. So this August 19th and every following one, treat yourself with a Chanel pick from Michaels here and remember the legendary woman who has impacted fashion for decades. 

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Pssst… it’s not too late. The Michaels Red Dot Sale is still valid through August 31st. Shop clearance for an additional 20% off using the code RED20. You can’t miss the biggest sale of the year!


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