August 19, 1883: Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, a famous French fashion designer who invented the house of Chanel, was born.
Chanel’s designs emphasized simplicity and revolutionized the fashion industry. Her innovations included the Chanel suit, the quilted purse, costume jewelry and the “little black dress.”
She is best known for the perfume Chanel No. 5, which she introduced in 1921 with the help of Ernst Beaux. The perfume purportedly got its name from the series of scents Beaux created for Chanel to sample; she chose the fifth, a combination of jasmine and several other floral scents.
Chanel was the first major fashion designer to introduce a perfume, replacing typical perfume packaging with a simple and sleek bottle. She died in 1971.