Mademoiselle Chanel's first commercial venture was a milliners, opened in Paris in the year 1909. The fashionable ladies of the racecourse flocked to her little shop, as her hats were causing a sensation -- never before had fashion provided such elegant simplicity, which were worn in stark contrast to the "tortes" and "ridiculous bibis" being worn during this first decade of the twentieth century.

In the year 1913 Mme Chanel opened a dress shop in Deauville, (Normandy), where she designed, manufactured, and was celebrated for her first jersey tailored suits.

As her fame grew, she took the radical step of launching a perfume, Chanel No 5, the first ever scent designed by a couturier. In the 1920's she introduced her eternal classics, the little black dress, a perfectly elegant and versatile shift, and her now ubiquitous tweed suit.

Mme Chanel was a long-time supporter of the arts, and loved the ballet. Mme Chanel died peacefully, on a Sunday.

See also Karl Lagerfeld, who assumed the artistic directorship of the House of Chanel in 1984.

research materials include the French ministère des Affaires étrangères, and the nodist's aquired knowledge