Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (19 August 1883 – 10 January 1971) was famous worldwide as Coco Chanel, the woman said by many to have revolutionized women’s fashion, freeing them from restrictive corset. Coco had a lot to say about fashion, the relationships between men and women, and the world in general.
Chanel had a fascinating life, one not without controversy. Her actions during the Second World War brought her a degree of notoriety, as she had a Nazi lover, which would seem to make her a Nazi sympathizer, and she has been accused of being a spy for the Germans.
Or perhaps she took her lesson from a life of hard knocks and decided to join what was, at the time, the winning team in order to survive. In the end, perhaps that was what drove her: a determined will to survive. Learn more: Time Magazine: How poverty shaped Coco Chanel