Little black dresses. Fake pearls. Jersey knit. Blazers. Ballet flats. Today-and for nearly the last hundred years-we all see some version of Gabrielle �Coco� Chanel every time we pass a woman on the street. But few among us realize that Chanel's role in the events of the twentieth century was as pervasive as her influence on fashion, or how deeply she absorbed and then brilliantly reimagined the historical currents around her. Here, with unprecedented detail and ambition-and through fascinating, thoroughly researched portraits of Chanel's lovers and friends-Rhonda Garelick shows us the Chanel who conquered the world: a woman who thirsted to create others in her image, who ruthlessly and innovatively borrowed from her famous (and infamous) intimates, who understood the idea of branding and image well ahead of her time, who created �wearable personality.� This is Chanel at the nexus of history: a woman of daring, passion, and legendary vision, in a wonderful biography that gives her long-awaited due.