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Fifty years after her death, Coco Chanel remembered for groundbreaking fashion

Issued on: 10/01/2021 – 12:29Modified: 10/01/2021 – 12:32

French fashion icon Coco Chanel created designs that still shape what we wear today. Her original Paris boutique featured both casual chic and revolutionary styles, and the Chanel brand earned billions in 2019. Half a century since her death, FRANCE 24’s Clovis Casali and Armelle Caux look back at her career and legacy.

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Coco Chanel spent her youth in an orphanage in the French countryside before settling in Paris, where she conquered hearts and minds.

Chanel opened a boutique in the capital’s 1st arrondissement (district) in 1918. There she presented designs such as an evening gown in black and red velvet chenille, and a pantsuit with a tunic made in red silk.

“My designs don’t fall out of fashion in a few days,” Chanel says in archival footage. “Some couturiers make dresses that feel dated just three days after they were produced!”

Fifty years since the passing of Coco Chanel, the legend lives on. An exhibition on her career opened at the end of last year at Paris’s Palais Galliera, while the Chanel fashion empire generated over €11 billion in revenue in 2019.

Click on the player above to watch the full FRANCE 24 report.

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