Coco Chanel Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Boyfriends

Coco Chanel Net Worth 

Coco Chanel has an estimated net worth of $100 million. With her trademark suits and little black dresses, fashion designer Coco Chanel created timeless designs that are still popular today. She earned most of her fortune from her fashion business. 

Coco Chanel launched her first perfume in the 1920s and later introduced the Chanel suit and the little black dress, with a focus on making clothes that were more comfortable for women. She became a fashion icon known for her simple yet sophisticated outfits paired with great accessories, such as multiple strands of pearls.

To calculate the net worth of Coco Chanel, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Coco Chanel
Net Worth: $100 Million
Monthly Salary: $40 Thousand
Annual Income: $10 Million
Source of Wealth: Fashion Designer, Costume Designer, Entrepreneur

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Early Life

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was born on August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France. Her early years were far from glamorous. Chanel was placed in an orphanage by her father, a peddler, when she was 12 years old, following the death of her mother.

Chanel was raised by nuns who taught her how to sew, which led to her life’s work. Her nickname came from a completely different job. Chanel had a brief career as a singer, performing in clubs in Vichy and Moulins as “Coco.” Some attribute the name to one of her songs, while Chanel herself stated that it was a “shortened version of cocotte, the French word for’kept woman,'” according to an article in The Atlantic.

Beginnings of a Fashion Empire

Chanel met Etienne Balsan, who offered to help her start a millinery business in Paris, when she was about 20 years old. She soon abandoned him in favor of one of his wealthier friends, Arthur “Boy” Capel. Both men played important roles in Chanel’s first fashion venture.

Chanel began selling hats in her first shop on Paris’s Rue Cambon in 1910. She later expanded her business to include stores in Deauville and Biarritz, as well as clothing manufacturing.

On a chilly day, she fashioned a dress out of an old jersey for her first taste of fashion success.

In response to the numerous inquiries about where she obtained the dress, she offered to make one for them. “My fortune is built on that old jersey that I’d put on because it was cold in Deauville,” she once told author Paul Morand.

Chanel rose to prominence in the literary and artistic worlds of Paris. She designed costumes for the Ballets Russes and Jean Cocteau’s play Orphée, and she was friends with both Cocteau and artist Pablo Picasso.

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First Perfume

Chanel expanded her thriving business to new heights in the 1920s. Chanel No. 5, her first perfume, was the first to include the designer’s name. Perfume, Chanel once said, “is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion… that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.”

In fact, the fragrance was supported by department store owner Théophile Bader, as well as businessmen Pierre and Paul Wertheimer, with Chanel developing a close friendship with Pierre.

A deal was eventually reached in which the Wertheimer company would receive 70% of Chanel No. 5 profits for producing the perfume at their factories, with Bader receiving 20% and Chanel receiving 10%. With No. 5 being a huge source of revenue, she repeatedly sued to have the terms of the deal renegotiated over the years.

Iconic Designs: Chanel Suit & Little Black Dress

Chanel introduced the now-famous Chanel suit with collarless jacket and well-fitted skirt in 1925. Her designs were groundbreaking for the time, borrowing elements from men’s wear and emphasizing comfort over the constraints of popular fashion. She assisted women in saying good-by to corsets and other confining garments.

Chanel’s little black dress was another revolutionary design of the 1920s. She took a color that was previously associated with mourning and demonstrated how chic it could be for evening wear.

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Closing Down Shop

Chanel’s company suffered from the international economic depression of the 1930s, but it was the outbreak of World War II that forced her to close her doors. She fired her employees and closed her stores.

Chanel left Paris after the war, spending some years in exile in Switzerland. She also lived at her country house in Roquebrune for a time.

Return to Fashion

At the age of 70, in the early 1950s, Chanel made a triumphant return to the fashion world. At first she was scathingly criticised by critics, but her feminine and easy-to-wear designs soon won over buyers around the world.

Boyfriends and a Marriage Proposal

Chanel had a brief relationship with composer Igor Stravinsky beginning in 1920. Chanel had attended Stravinsky’s infamous world premiere of “Rite of Spring” in 1913.

She met the wealthy Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster, aboard his yacht around 1923. They began a long-term relationship. “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster—but there is only one Chanel!” she reportedly said in response to his marriage proposal, which she declined.

Life as Nazi Agent

During the German occupation of France, Chanel became involved with Hans Gunther von Dincklage, a Nazi military officer. She obtained special permission to stay in her Paris apartment at the Hotel Ritz, which also served as the German military headquarters.

Chanel was interrogated about her relationship with von Dincklage after the war, but she was not charged as a collaborator. Some have speculated that Chanel’s friend Winston Churchill worked behind the scenes on her behalf.

Chanel suffered in the court of public opinion despite the fact that she was not officially charged. Some saw her affair with a Nazi officer as a betrayal of her country.

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Death

Chanel died on January 10, 1971, in her Hotel Ritz apartment. She never married because she once said, “I never wanted to be heavier on a man than a bird.” Hundreds gathered at the Church of the Madeleine to say goodbye to the fashion icon. Many of the mourners wore Chanel suits as a tribute.

Karl Lagerfeld took over Chanel’s company a little more than a decade after her death to carry on the Chanel legacy. Today, her nameake company is privately held by the Wertheimer family and continues to thrive, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in sales each year.

Movies, Books and Plays on Chanel

Chanel’s fascinating life story inspired the Broadway musical Coco, which starred Katharine Hepburn as the legendary designer. Alan Jay Lerner wrote the song’s book and lyrics, while Andre Prévin composed the music.

Cecil Beaton was in charge of the production’s set and costume design. The show received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Costume Design for Beaton and Best Featured Actor for René Auberjonois.

Chanel and Her World (2005), written by Chanel’s friend Edmonde Charles-Roux, is one of several biographies of the fashion revolutionary.

Shirley MacLaine played the famous designer around the time of her career revival in the 2008 television film Coco Chanel. The actress told WWD that she had long wanted to play Chanel. “What’s wonderful about her is that she’s not a straightforward, easy-to-understand woman.”

In the 2008 film Coco Before Chanel, French actress Audrey Tautou portrayed Coco Chanel from childhood to the establishment of her fashion house. Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, published in 2009, detailed Chanel’s relationship with the composer.

Further Reading

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