Coco Chanel was a real opportunist. But at 71 when Europe shunned her she made a huge return in the USA soon forcing Europe and her critics to become fans.
Like Hugo Boss Coco Chanel could be called a war-time collaborator. She certainly was a colourful character and probably only escaped jail due to her connections to Winston Churchill and gifting US GI's free perfume. But who knows the real truth of her war-time activity.
One thing is sure is that her bounce back in business aged 71 was stunning. What happened was a bored and frustrated Coco Chanel was stagnating in Switzerland and designed a new range. She also had suffered a stroke and arthritis meant she couldn't even hold a scissors. When her collection was shown in Paris she was savaged. "A sad retrospective," was one critic's commentary.
But Coco was never one to buckle under pressure and took her collection to the USA where what was called the "Black Ford" look and her classic dresses really did well.
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