Chanel was founded by Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (1883-1971) in Paris in 1910. Today she is most known for couture clothing however she designed costume jewelry as well as fine jewelry. After the death of her mother she and her sisters were sent to an orphanage by their father where she was brought up by nuns from 11 to 18. She opened her first shop in 1910 in Paris with the financial help of her lover Etienne Balsan and made and sold hats. However, after fashioning herself a dress from an old jersey on vacation in Deauville, she was asked to make one for friends. In 1921 she launched fragrance No.5, the first perfume from a couturier. In 1927 she employed Fulco di Verdura as a textile designer and a few years later the began working on jewelry designs together. They used a variety of materials such as brightly colored gems and glass and assembled them in bold combinations. In November 1932 she presented a collection of fine diamond jewelry called ‘Bijoux de Diamants’ a mult-million franc collection though her initial focus was on costume. The designs were stars, ribbons and fringes and she displayed the jewels at her home on Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The London Diamond Corporation memo'ed Chanel the gems to help promote diamonds and increase sales. The arrival of World War II meant Chanel had to close her boutique and didn’t return to couture until 1954 when she produced her first new collection in almost 15 years at the age of 71. She continued working and designing collections, including jewelry, for nearly twenty years until her death in 1971. After this the house of Chanel carried on producing collections. Then in 1983 fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld took the creative direction of the brand yet did not focus on the jewelry. Another 10 years went by before the company turned to jewelry and launched a new collection. A jewelry boutique was opened on the Place Vendome in Paris.