Who is the woman behind the iconic Coco Chanel brand? Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was more than just a beautiful dress, famous logo or versatile purse. If you have ever wondered how this legandary woman came to become Coco Chanel, the upcoming September 25th release of “Coco Before Chanel” is one to look forward to. Starring Audrey Tautou, the film covers Chanel’s formative years – who she was, how she invented herself into the Coco Chanel we all think of when the name comes up today.

Coco Before Chanel

Coco Before Chanel

To get you started, here are eight things you probably didn’t know about Coco Chanel:

  1. Her name was mispelled as Chasnel on her birth certificate – which caused lots of challenges for historians who subsequently had to figure out her ancestry.
  2. As a child she spent several years in an orphanage, where she first learned how to sew.
  3. She started out as a tailor and designing hats as a hobby once she set out on her own.
  4. Though never married, she had love affairs with a number of rich playboys and millionaires who played an important role as both romantic figures and helping to finance her ambitions.
  5. Ana Silvera’s song, ‘Notes from an Opera’ is inspired by the famous designer.
  6. Chanel No.5 is the first fragrance to have a designer’s name associated with it.
  7. Trying to avoid the topic of her impoverished upbringing, Chanel was known to bend the truth about when she was born and what her parents were like.
  8. She lived in the Hotel Ritz Paris for thirty years.

“Coco Before Chanel” comes out on September 25th – you can see the trailer for the movie below:


Image: Sony Classics