Style arbiter Coco Chanel, who passed away today in 1971, made the world more beautiful with her iconic fashion designs. Born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France, her early life was far from glamorous. Born into poverty, her mother died when she was just a girl and her father sent her to an orphanage to be raised by nuns. A master of self-invention, she would not be limited by her humble beginnings and famously said: “My life didn’t please me, so I created my life.”
The life Coco Chanel created for herself included a brief career as a café singer (where she took the name Coco), followed by her famous entrée into fashion. Her aesthetic ethos that “luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury” revolutionized fashion, and her iconic suits, “little black dress,” and signature perfume proved to be timeless.
While her fashions continue to influence, her pithy commentary about life and beauty still inspire. Here are 10 Coco Chanel quotes that help convey her approach to enduring style: