The designs and style of Coco Chanel cannot be explained without a glimpse of Coco Chanel the person. Her designs are classic, stylish, timeless and beautiful. Born in 1883, Gabrielle Coco Chanel was born into an underprivileged home, learning to sew from her aunts. Chanel evolved her seamstress skills into a millinery shop in 1913, graduating to jewellery, perfume and evening gowns in the 1920s. In the 1930s she designed her famous “little black dress” and her landmark women’s suits, evolving the cuts and silhouettes up until her passing in 1971 at the age of 88. A legend in his own right, Karl Lagerfeld has been the chief designer for Chanel since 1982.