One of the most influential female fashion designers of all time, Coco Chanel was born in a small city called Saumur France in 1883. Her mother died when Chanel was only six years old and the Chanel children were left orphaned. Around 1910, Coco Chanel had relations with some wealthy men, a military officer and an English industrialist. And, that was how she opened a small shop in Paris where she sold ladies hats. After a year of successful sales, Coco moved to the fashionable Rue Cambon where she started producing perfumes. In 1921, the famous Coco Chanel Number Five was introduced by Coco Chanel.
She collaborated with famous businessman Pierre Wertheimer who shared seventy percent of the revenues while Chanel's share was only ten percent. By the way, the Wertheimer continue to control the perfume company today. One of the most notable and influential inventions made and introduced by Coco Chanel was the Chanel suit. It was presented in 1923; this suit comprised a knee long skirt and a boxy trim jacket usually made of woven wool with gold buttons and black trim. The suit was worn with a big costume pearl necklace. One of influential popularizations that were made by Coco Chanel involved the little black dress as a night gown and as causal wear depending on the accessories that are worn with it. And, the little black dress was an incredible example of versatility and style. Though Coco Chanel didn't invent little black dresses exactly, Chanel's black dress was the haute couture standard. Once, Coco Chanel said that simplicity is the key to true elegance. Coco Chanel was well known for her numerous affairs with many influential people like the Duke of Westminster, artist, Paul Iribe, Grand Duke Dmitri of Russia, and British sportsman Roy Capel. During the Second World War when France was occupied, one of best female fashion designers had a love affair with a high ranking German officer and she was blamed for it after the war ended. Coco Chanel had a great influence on the world's fashion and she was included on the list of the hundred most influential people of the twentieth century; she was the only person who represented the fashion industry.
One of the most influential female fashion designers was Elsa Schiaparelli was born in 1890 in Rome. She was considered the most influential Parisian fashion designer of her time yielding to Coco Chanel only. Elsa Schiaparelli had Italian and Egyptian ancestry and she was a niece of Giovanni Schiaparelli, an astronomer who discovered the Mars canals. In 1927, Elsa Schiaparelli opened her first sport salon named the Pour le sport which, as the name suggests specialized in sportswear. In 1931, she introduced an innovative tennis skirt in which famous tennis player Lili de Alvarez and was featured at the Wimbledon championships in London. Elsa Schiaparelli received international fame for her black knit sweaters with a white bowtie pattern and shocking pink perfumes. One of the most influential female fashion designers also had a flair for surrealism because she often collaborated with Salvador Dali in order to create her fashion designs.