Thursday, November 29, 2012
Born to poor parents, orphaned at 12, essentially abandoned by her father to a convent, she learned her craft of sewing and handiwork very young. It would serve her well at 18 when she had to leave the convent and had to find work.
Enter the first of many well-known, prosperous and/or talented men into her life: Étienne Balsan. He would be the first to give her the time and space she needed to break through to her creative talent. Her second man Boy Capel would help launch the Chanel house on rue Cambon that is still in place today in Paris.
This is a great rags to riches story of a force of nature who single single-handedly revolutionized fashion and built an empire. (300 stores world wide and a 3 billion dollar a year industry) This was a fascinating look into an amazingly powerful and visionary woman and it is worth reading if not for her life story then for a look at the cast of friends, lovers and houses that entered and exited it.
Four stars out of five.