So great is Coco Chanel's legacy that fans make pilgrimages to her Paris apartment (although she also lived in the Paris Ritz for 30 years), which is preserved as she left it and endlessly referenced for style - as is every image of her and every tiny thing she ever designed. From her use of monochrome to her oversized 'costume' pearls and cuffs, everything is still sublimely, continuously referenced. As she herself once said: "Fashion fades, only style remains the same."
• Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was born in 1883 and died in 1971
• She created a new look for women in the 20th century, creating clothes that were primarily comfortable. A Chanel suit of 1923 or handbag is still seen as a landmark purchase for women of increasingly younger ages
• The Chanel uk No.5 scent is the best selling in the world
• The interlocking Cs of Coco Chanel remain one of the ultimate brand insignia
• Since 1983, Chanel has been designed by Karl Lagerfeld
• The building where her apartment is in Paris was bought by Chanel in 1920, and still houses the ground-floor shop, the haute couture workrooms in the attic (where 100 seamstresses still work entirely by hand), and what is now Karl Lagerfeld's study
Coco Chanel's bobbed hair, bright red lips and outspoken manner also broke the mould. This smoking, outspoken woman never married - although she had relations with the English industrialist Arthur "Boy" Capel - who lent her the money to buy Rue Cambon - Igor Stravinsky and the second Duke of Westminster Hugh "Bendor" Grosvenor, the richest man in Europe. Keira Knightley followed Kate Moss as the new face of Coco Mademoiselle in 2007. The brand could not be more alive with watches, beauty, fragrance, womenswear and new stores.
In 2009 a biopic film based on her life titled 'Coco before Chanel' was released. Audrey Tatou was given the lead-role and follows as she goes from orphan to Haute Couture designer.
Chanel, 31 rue Cambon, Paris
Tel: +33 1 4286 2600