Coco Chanel’s impact on fashion is unparalleled — and her design legacy is just as relevant today, on what would have been her 136th birthday, as it was decades ago.
The legendary fashion designer’s canon of now-staples — the tweed suit, her No. 5 fragrance and the little black dress — exemplify the elegant, modern style that she was known for and one that was carried on by her successor Karl Lagerfeld, until his death earlier this year.
In honor of Chanel’s birthday — Aug. 19, 1883 — WWD looks back at the designer’s legacy, unearthing some little-known facts about the iconic designer from our archives.
Here are nine things you probably didn’t know about Coco Chanel:
1. She refused a marriage proposal from the Duke of Westminster.
Chanel reportedly had a 10-year affair with the second Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, during which time the Duke proposed marriage to the designer. Chanel refused, later stating: “There are lots of Duchesses, but only one Coco Chanel.”
2. She was routinely at odds with other fashion designers.
Coco Chanel in 1954.
Chanel’s influence on other designers was undeniable, especially to Coco herself. On Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel was quoted saying, “Saint Laurent has excellent taste. The more he copies
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