7 Ways to Celebrate Coco Chanel’s Birthday in Paris

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7 Ways to Celebrate Coco Chanel’s Birthday in Paris
There are silver linings to be had in the year 2020. And one silver lining is that we still live in a world with Chanel. Chanel, the eponymous fashion house and style empire born from the mind of French designer Coco Chanel, has not let the pandemic slow it down. The house of Chanel went remote for its haute couture show this summer; the video presentation was led by the vision of Chanel’s creative director, Virginie Viard. And during this month, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was born in Saumur, France, on August 19, 1883. She and her siblings were orphaned at a young age following the death of their mother. They were all sent to a Catholic orphanage, where the nuns taught young Gabrielle how to sew, planting the seeds for this legend to build her fashion empire. Here are some fun ways to honor Coco Chanel this month for her birthday. View this post on Instagram A post shared by CHANEL (@chanelofficial) on Apr 23, 2020 at 1:01am PDT 1. Listen to cabaret music Did you know that Chanel was once a cabaret singer? At age eighteen, she set out on her own, leaving the orphanage where the nuns taught her to sew. Chanel joined the circus as a cabaret singer – not a bad first job as a teenager! This is where she earned her nickname of Coco, too. It was a shortening of the word “coquette.” She wouldn’t stay at the circus for long, though. While working as a singer, she met the French textile heir, Étienne Balsan. She left the circus to be with him, and began designing hats for fun. While the pandemic has put a damper on many live shows and concerts, you can listen to some great French cabaret music on Spotify or iTunes.

Lead photo credit : Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, 1920. Photo © Time / Getty - Hal Vaughan, Wikipedia (PD-US)

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Anne McCarthy is a contributing writer to BBC News, Teen Vogue, The Telegraph, Dance Magazine, and more. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Westminster and is the Editor in Chief of Fat Tire Tours’ travel blog. She lives in New York City.


  • dona duncan
    2020-08-20 09:24:47
    dona duncan
    Dear ANNE, I so enjoy any bit of news about Paris. My brother Rodger Duncan Lived between NYC and Paris before he passed away. You may know of him "DUNCAN" was the professional name he used for his Fashion illustrations. You can look him up and see his work consisting of several FRENCH magazines as well as FRENCH Madame Figaro. The French people loved the tall handsome artist. He did tons of work for Vogue, Barnneys Bergdorf, etc. Man tomes I go into a designer department to try on a lovely garment as I find his illustrations adorning the walls. Look up his work it is very inspirational. I might add I am also an artist. We creative people must support each other during these challenging times. Continue to use you gifts. MERCI' P.S. my brothers full name was RODGER DUNCAN DONA DUNCAN duncanwolfe @ Comcast.net