Fashion Legend: Coco Chanel

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Attention Getter: Fashion is a way of representing ourselves to the world/ people around us and it has been part of our world for so long that we've all seen many trends come and go. We also see many designers create new things every day.

Background: There are many designers that came from nothing and built a fortune later in life. I will be talking about Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel's life.

Audience Relevance: We all are part of the fashion world even if we may not think we are because we all follow different trends that we like and represent us.

Speaker Credibility: I am credible to talk about this because I am interested in fashion and designers. I was always involved with everything that was going on (updated) and I have also done research.

Thesis: Coco Chanel's work started out of a simple jersey and she turned it into millions of dollars. We can all create, we never know where our creations can take us.

Preview of Main Points: First, I will talk about Coco Chanel's early life when she was barely starting, then I will discuss her work, what she accomplished, and finally I will talk about her legacy / how fashion plays a role in people's life.

Sub-point A: She was born as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on august 19, 1883 in France. Throughout her early years of living she had a great life with both her parents. However when her mother passed away everything changed for her. She was put in an orphanage at age 12 by her father. There she was raised by nuns. They taught her many valuable things and one of those was how to sew. This was one of the skills she was very grateful of because it was something that changed her life in great ways.

Sub-point B: As I said Chanel was named Gabrielle at birth. However, everyone knows her as “Coco”. This nickname came from when she used to perform as a singer. She performed in many clubs and called herself Coco. Some say that she got the nickname from a song she used to sing but Chanel said it was a short version of cocotte which meant “kept woman” in French (Biography 2014).

Transition to 2nd Main Point: Coco Chanel accomplished many things during her lifetime. Sub-point A: When she was around 20 years old she started working with a businessman named Arthur Capel, who helped her create her first business in Paris. The first design of clothing she made was a dress which came from an old jersey all because it was cold outside. A lot of people asked her where she had got the dress, and she knew she had to create that dress again. It was one of her best successes that built her fortune.

Sub-point B: Later on Chanel introduced a new design. She used a color that was associated with mourning and made it look chic. This design was called “The Little Black Dress”. It became very iconic that people today are still interested in that look and people have made many designs similar to Chanel. Her designs were simple known as the “little boy look” because they were simple yet classy/ elegant. Chanel also introduced a suit that included a skirt and collarless jacket. Which changed things for women because they didn't have to keep wearing uncomfortable things likes corsets. This look is also still being worn today. Which means that fashion trends sometimes do stay for a long time. She is also known for her Chanel 5 perfume.

Sub-point A: Coco Chanel passed away January 10, 1971. Many people attended her funeral saying goodbye to one of the best fashion icons. In tribute many people wore her Chanel suits. There was also a broadway musical and a movie on the life of Chanel. Many people helped and contributed to make costume designs, wrote, wrote music and a book for the show. This was a great show that it received about 7 Tony award nominations. Many years later after Chanel's death, her company is one of the biggest and well known out there. It is said that it generates hundreds of million in sales every year. Her story is captivating that still many people continue to write biographies about her life.

Sub-point B: Fashion captures many things. It shows expression of a person (art, feeling, movement), culture, social and economic changes “expresses both modernity and eternity. It is something that identifies the now, and subsequently stays rooted firmly in history as an emblem of the people, the place, the time” (Schramm 2018) We can identify a generation based on what people wear or where they shop. We can see that it has a great impact on young generations for example in highschool most teenagers want to have the shoes that everyone has or clothes that are popular in the moment. It's part of a great business because if we don't buy, designers don't create new things, and when we buy they make more profit and target a certain generation with every new piece they make which can be clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry.


Review Main Points: First I talked about Coco Chanel's early life when she was barely starting, then I discussed her work, what she accomplished, and finally I talked about her legacy and how fashion plays a role in people's life.

Restate Thesis: Coco Chanel's work started out of a simple jersey and she turned it into millions of dollars. We can all create, we never know were our creations can take us.

Memorable Closer: Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. - COCO CHANEL

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Fashion legend: Coco Chanel. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved May 24, 2024 , from

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