"If I cut my hair, others did. If I shortened my dresses, so did everyone else."
Born as Gabrielle Chanel on August 19, 1883, Coco transformed her sad, unfortunate life into one full of adventure and poise. Coco was born to an unwed mother who died when she was six. Young Chanel was sent to an orphanage in France where she learned to sew. After many relationships with wealthy men, Chanel's hobby of designing turned into a successful business venture through the connections and patronage these men provided. She became known for her relaxed and practical style, freeing women from corsets. Chanel became a style icon herself with her striking bob haircut and tan. Her perfume, Chanel No5, and signature little black dress remain popular to this day. Hollywood stars including Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelley adored her designs and Chanel is still worn by celebrities today. Coco Chanel died on January 10,1971, spending her last moments in the lap of luxury she had become accustomed to at her opulent, private apartment in The Ritz. Many films and a Broadway play were dedicated to telling the story of her sensational life.