I find it extremely interesting when women (specifically), post or pin “inspirational” quotes and photos of women who I find utterly loathsome.
My biggest irritants are Coco Chanel quotes and admiration for this terrible human being. Google now, there are “inspirational” Coco Quotes everywhere.
I’m a huge fan of Messy Nessy Chic – she wrote an article about Chanel in 2011 that has stuck with me. (This article has been updated since).
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel
was indeed some poor girl who eventually established herself and her brand into a multi-billion dollar company; however her methods weren’t quite organic and ethical. Not only was Chanel Anti-Semitic, she was also a social climber – looking for any available opportunity to shine within the rising elite and political classes.
At the beginning of the Second World War, Chanel closed her Couture House claiming it was “not the time for Fashion”. She took up residence in the Parisian Ritz hotel, becoming the mistress of German intelligence officer, Baron Hans Günther von Dincklage. Her neighbours within the hotel rooms were also Gestapo. Recent declassified documents have surfaced, indicating dear Coco was a Nazi collaborator and participated in intelligence activities for General General Walter Schellenberg (Chief of SS intelligence).
Not only was she collaborating with Nazi officials, she was capitalizing on the Nazi seizure of all Jewish owned property and enterprises – this included Parfums Chanel (Chanel No. 5). The original creators (the Wertheimer family) were of Jewish decent. Chanel petitioned Nazi officials to claim ownership of the perfume due to her “Aryan” blood.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Parfums Chanel is still the property of Jews … and has been legally ‘abandoned’ by the owners. I have an indisputable right of priority. The profits that I have received from my creations since the foundation of this business…are disproportionate and you can help to repair in part the prejudices I have suffered in the course of these seventeen years”
Guess what!? Because of her Nazi connections, she was entitled to a percentage of the wartime profits regardless of it being hers or not!
Intrigued by all of this? There’s an excellent book by Hal Vaughan, Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War.
Vaughan reveals the truth of Chanel’s long-whispered collaboration with Hitler’s high-ranking officials in occupied Paris from 1940 to 1944. He writes in detail of her decades-long affair with Baron Hans Günther von Dincklage, “Spatz” (“sparrow” in English), described in most Chanel biographies as being an innocuous, English-speaking tennis player, playboy, and harmless dupe—a loyal German soldier and diplomat serving his mother country and not a member of the Nazi party.
Let’s take a stand.
It’s time to stop idolizing a horrible excuse for a woman on social media with memes, pins and “inspirational quotes”.
I’m done with it all.
It’s time to start pinning the truth and recognizing who this woman truly was.
Powerful. So much we don’t know. Much to my relief I’ve never been a Chanel fan.