GABRIELLE CHANEL (1883 – 1971)
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, a French fashion designer, set the epitome for twenties fashion. Inspired by menswear, she pioneered the “little boy” look and aimed for comfort and elegance. It is said that her clothing embodied youth and freedom. Chanel revolutionized fashion in the materials she used and in the simplicity and practicability in her design. Most significantly, Chanel invented the women’s suit and, in 1926, introduced the infamous “little black dress” to the fashion world. Both of these icons of the development of women’s fashion, concurrent with increased female independence, have endured decade after decade and can be spotted on the streets today.