Adele, Beyonce and Cher aren’t the only women to go by one name. Back in the 1900s, in the French town of Moulins in central France, there lived an aspiring singer who was known by the name Coco.

Patrons of the now-defunct cafe-cabaret La Rotonde bestowed that moniker on a young Gabrielle Chanel who once harboured ambitions to be a singer – only to go on to carve a trailblazing career as a fashion designer.

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The nickname, which has stuck till today, was a nod to the catchy ditty Qui qu’a vu Coco (translated to Who Has Seen Coco?) that Chanel loved to perform at the La Rotonde.


As a committed patron and an enlightened music lover, Gabrielle Chanel enjoyed all types of music, whether religious, classical or popular.

While fashion proved to be her life’s calling, Chanel continued to immerse herself in the colourful world of music, supporting modern French composers like Georges Auric, Darius Milhaud and gang during the Roaring Twenties and running in the same circles as The Beatles in the Mod Age.

Intrigued? In this exclusive video produced by Chanel, we learn more about how integral music was to Gabrielle Chanel’s life and her craft.