Photo By Douglas Kirkland / Corbis


Chanel passed away in her Ritz suite on 10 January 1971, while putting the finishing touches on her latest collection. Her funeral stopped traffic as hundreds of mourners turned out, including Yves St Laurent, Paco Rabanne and many of the leading figures in fashion of that time. Her last collection, released two weeks after her funeral, was the epitome of her elegant signature style. Not surprisingly, the ivory tweed suits and pure white evening dresses were met with a standing ovation. Although Coco’s time had passed, her revolutionary style and presence lives on. Today, Coco’s portrait watches over current creative director Karl Lagerfeld as he sits at his desk in the Chanel design studio. Her apartment on the second floor remains preserved, while her suite in the Ritz has been named in her honour. Most importantly though, her legacy lives on through women’s wardrobes around the world, thanks to her pioneering creations that have genuinely helped liberate women and influence fashion, to this very day.

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