When her mother died her father took her and her 2 sisters to live in a convent for orphans where she learned how to sew.
At 18 she was sent to live in a boarding house for catholic girls and gained a job as a seamstress. There she met an ex-cavalry officer Etienne Balsan who took her in as her mistress and gave her the life of a rich woman. During her stay with Balsan she started designing and making hats and soon discovered her love for fashion.
She later began an affair with Edward "Boy" Capel. And he was able to show her the support of her fashion dreams.
She was inspired by Boy's own style and the need to make women comfortable yet fashionable in these hard, men dominated times.
She used materials that her male competition considered non-fashionable. And she created beautiful works of art that many women have loved and still love. Her pieces were meant to make women feel and be fashionable while not sacrificing themselves and their comfort.
Chanel wanted women to dress for themselves not for their men.