The Coco Chanel Legacy

Coco Chanel, the only couturier to be listed in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century, redefined countless aspects of the fashion industry. Her keen sense of fashion and refusal to follow the mainstream changed the way women dress and the way designers create their art. Her life, legacy, and work ethics all shaped the way that fashion designers approached women’s fashion, and this influence still holds true today.


Coco Chanel



Her Early Years

Coco Chanel was born to a workhouse mother who died when she was a young girl. After her mother’s death, Coco’s father abandoned her and her five siblings. She then lived in an orphanage and learned how to sew from the Catholic nuns who took care of her. Her extended family taught her how to sew more elaborately. Originally, she made her own clothes because she could not afford to buy her own, but she eventually left sewing behind. These humble beginnings set the stage for her future career in fashion.

At the age of 18, Coco started singing in cabarets in Moulins, France. While her singing career never really took off, it was here that she met Etienne Baslan, a young French textile heir. Coco became Baslan’s mistress and he took care of all of her living expenses, adorning her with lavish gifts. It was during this time that Coco began designing hats as a hobby, something that she would later grow a deep interest for.


Chanel Fashion




Coco later began an affair with one of Baslan’s friends, Captain Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel. Capel’s own clothing store inspired the signature Chanel look, which incorporated jersey material into male fashion designs, with a feminine twist. Capel also helped Coco set up her business and introduced her to many wealthy women. These events led to the official start of her career.



In 1931, Chanel met Samuel Goldwyn through a mutual friend, the Grand duke Dimitri Pavlovich, the czar of Russia’s cousin. Goldwyn loved Chanel’s unique fashion sense and offered her a proposition that would further enhance her career. She would travel to Hollywood twice a year and design costumes for MGM stars. This business proposition led her to an opportunity to interview with Colliers magazine in 1932, while in route to California from New York.


Chanel No. 5


Chanel No. 5

Chanel never actually owned her signature perfume, which is what many of us think of today when we think of the Chanel legacy. In fact, she originally only contracted her name and her lucky number to the developers of the scent. It wasn’t until World War II that Coco received any actual proceeds from the perfume that carried her name. After writing a letter to the government administrator that ruled the disposition of Jewish assets, Chanel received back pay as well as future pay of 2 percent of all Chanel No. 5 sales.




Later Years

Coco stopped designing during the war, due to the fact that she felt it was not a time for designing. She did, however, return to the fashion industry in 1954. An agreement made within the new Chanel No. 5 contract paid for the reestablishment of her couture and paid for all of her living expenses up until her death. Because she had a strong connection with the Nazis during the war, Chanel’s designs did not blow over well in Paris, but it was during this time that her designs became loved by the Americans and the British.

Today, clothes continue to be manufactured in the likeness of her original works and are endlessly loved and appreciated by the fashion industry that she contributed so much to, as well as by the women who still wear them.


Chanel Fashion



An African American Trendsetter Sitting on top of a Goldmine

Russell Simmons is known for his vision, revolutionized fashion, music and finance empire. He sets out to make things happen and in simple terms, he does. His blueprint for success is to visualize, perceive success and make things better. Simmons has been called the entrepreneurial role model; providing guidance on achievement directly and indirectly. So how exactly did Russell Simmons set trends in fashion? His fashion line spoke directly to street savvy urban America. He listens to the people, what they want, what they need, and melds it all together to determine what will be hip and successful.


Russell Simmons


The rap culture provided a hook for inner city youths and young adults looking for a style that was upbeat with all the attitude of the music. Russell Simmons embraced this need and identified what would become popular and what wouldn’t. What signified the intense music and what would people respond to?

But what started out as a niche, Simmons help to evolve and create a bigger brand that involved not only street savvy individuals but corporate America. Dare I say “Argyle”?


Phat Farm by Russell Simmons


Simmons has been completely receptive to the consumer needs. And while it all started in the inner city the label has become a prominent success with mainstream worldwide consumer appeal. The clothing targets everyone looking for ensembles that are fashion forward yet keeping with today’s trend.

Russell understood that time and fashion evolves and of course consumer appeal changes so how do you appeal to a wide group? That is one of Russell Simmons great successes; being able to successfully launch a business and being inspired to change the perception of that brand. Phat Farm was once thought of as “street wear” but today it fits anyone and everyone from urban to corporate America.


Phat Farm caters for both urban and corporate America



Russell is a definitely a trendsetter and this is evident with his enduring label. His creative mind took a major influence of hip hop music and made us fall in love with a trend that is all attitudes. And as a result, Russell Simmons has transformed his approach to include a little of everything; urban, contemporary and metropolitan style.

Russell Simmons


How Jennifer Lopez Made Us Crave for Curves

Our foremost fashion trends undoubtedly begin and end with celebrities and Jennifer Lopez made us applaud once again for curvy hourglass figures. We learned many lessons on accentuating and accepting a curvaceous figure.

We all have practical criteria about clothes and celebrities – they help us feel confident and serve as a status symbol. Some even help create allegiances to familiar brands.

The fit of a garment is an essential component of its salability and the largest proportion of our population have always found it difficult to find just that perfect fit. That’s where celebrity style comes in the picture.

Jennifer Lopez continues to make us feel good about getting the next size up and who cares about that stick-size zero. If it’s ok for her and she can flaunt it, then we don’t feel ashamed to follow the leader. Jennifer Lopez accepts her body, loves her body and shows us by not trying to hide her  most obvious attributes.

Jennifer Lopez


So what’s the best stay-forever trend that Jennifer Lopez has brought to the forefront?

  • Latino Sexy Siren Style
  • Large Hoop Earrings
  • The Au-natural braless look in barely down to there clothing
  • Retro Hair Styles

Jennifer Lopez

You’ll notice Jennifer Lopez continues to take risk with her fashion choices. Throughout the years she bounced from her trademark feminine ruffles and natural makeup and Greek goddess look to sexy siren asymmetrical designs; and we can never forget her skin tight outfits.

Jennifer Lopez - asymmetrical designs

But here’s the most fruitful viewpoint of her fashion choices; she always chooses fashionable items that accentuate her body and we try to emulate her look because we love it! She’s not afraid of her curvaceous look and wearing items that show off those curves.


And in the midst of ridicule, JLo keeps up with the same sexy looks and the same trends that’s it all her own.


And while you may want to emulate your favorite fashion icon, it might require an unlimited trendy budget to match that enthusiasm for celebrity trendy fashions. But don’t despair, because everything a celebrity wears can be replicated.






Jennifer Lopez


The Style and Substance of Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has influenced the fashion world with his mastery of classic yet comfortable ensembles. His clothes make a statement for any and every budget – tastefully elegant, straightforward yet refined. When you dress the “Lauren” way you’re stating you have impeccable taste.

Ralph Lauren

The Ralph Lauren fashion line is not flashy but definitely obvious of refined class and elegance.  Ralph Lauren devotees opt for his elegant, easy-to-wear timeless pieces that exude good taste with that polished class. Every one of his basics can be mixed and matched to accommodate any occasion and every plan.

Ralph Lauren doesn’t follow the latest trends or radically change his line from season to season; it always remains typical Lauren – elegant and classy with a statement. And while it’s definitely not your typical ready-to-wear, his pieces are always accessible for any engagement.

Just think; your monotonous black slacks are so predictable; however, paired with a RL iconic ensemble piece and you look and feel like you’ve just walked off the runway! A perfect example of how a Lauren timeless piece turns obsolete into great style.

Choosing just one piece from his signature “Lauren” fashion line can uplift and refresh your wardrobe.



The understated style of Ralph Lauren

Why is he an Icon?

Ralph Lauren Ladies Golf Shirt

Ralph Lauren’s look is a reflection of a refined conservative culture. He’s equipped with an unyielding understanding of peoples’ fashion needs. He knows how to make people feel comfortable, all-the-while feeling relaxed and confident. Lauren takes staple pieces and pairs them with a luxurious classic that’s uncomplicated.

Suits, tailored blazers, classic ribbed sweaters, smart polo shirts, and tailored dress shirts are all examples of his uncompromising taste. And his branded Pony is known world-wide and visible everywhere.

Ralph Lauren’s clothing is all about your lifestyle; loving his design and the feeling of luxury.

You never have to worry about the vibe of the office because all his collections work in any environment. You’ll spot his Polo Pony in urban areas as well as affluent avenues, transcending all cultures.


Ralph Lauren Shawl Sweater

While many items are pricey the brand strives to include all price points and, therefore, it’s accessible to everyone. But Lauren’s message has been heard loud and clear: Buy the best you can afford and keep it classy and classic.  While dressing in his uncomplicated style, you’ll profess your love of quiet sophistication and class.

One thing you can be assured of; invest in one colored pony polo to pair with any slacks and your ensemble will rise above ordinary.


Emulating the Style of Princess Grace Kelly

One of the best known fashion icons is Princess Grace Kelly. Her style was a fresh concept of simplicity and effortless elegance. Grace Kelly had a style that was well balanced, cool and confident; and although understated, her flair and style was poised and made a statement.

Grace Kelly

Every outfit was a perfect mesh of neutral tones with just a hint of color every now and again. Her look was very stylish yet uncomplicated. Fast forward to today and while things have changed many of Grace Kelly’s elegant trends still remain the same.

  • Princess Grace was often photographed wearing a headscarf and even today; this trend has become intertwined into our ensembles.
  • Princess Grace made wearing white ladylike gloves an elegant addition to your wardrobe
  • Princess Grace dressed in sophisticated ensembles with key extras that showed off a feminine touch of elegance.

So how do you emulate the fashion style of Grace Kelly?


Grace Kelly

Begin by thinking simple, not fussy or frilly; use monochromatic colors and quality fabrics that are luxurious and elegant. Choose neutral colors that are flatter your skin type and build your wardrobe around high quality pieces.
One of the most universally flattering and elegant pieces of jewelry are pearls, Grace Kelly’s favorite piece of jewelry. Pearls provide an immediate transformation and assertion of femininity with softness yet confidence; a simple strand can instantly uplift your outfit and provide an affluent look to an otherwise desperate ensemble.

In keeping with Grace Kelly’s fashion choices, she also kept her makeup muted and light yet glowing. Her makeup always complimented but never stood out or compromised her style.

It seems more people use makeup to transform instead of using it to uplift and enhance. There are many makeup multi-taskers that provide effortless beauty without much effort.

  • Use a quick cheek and lip stain – it adds a hint of color, stays put but it has sheer coverage
  • Tinted body lotions – hides light bruising and can diminish looks you’d rather be covered up
  • Illuminating powder – this should always be used to set your makeup. It gives your face an allover glow and helps downplay ruddiness.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly had a signature style that we seek to reinvent for ourselves. The hair, the shoes, the makeup and even the nail color sends the world a consistent message about who we are. Everything we wear is a declaration of who we really are and who we strive to become.

It’s amazing how fashion tells the story for us. Without uttering a word fashion is always self-evident.




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