10 things: Chanel and Lagerfeld

Credit: PA

As Karl Lagerfeld has an exclusive chat with ITV News, we look at 10 facts you may not have known about the fashion designer and the brand he has been in charge of for more than 30 years - Chanel.

1. Chanel No 5

Credit: Reuters

One of the most famous products in the world, Chanel No 5 was the first perfume in the world to be named after its designer. Coco Chanel chose the number 5 because she associated it with good luck. She had presented dress collections on 5 May and launched No 5 on the same date in 1921. Nearly a century later, it's still going strong with around 10 million bottles sold each year.

2. Chanel and the sun tan

Tres chic Credit: Reuters

Ever wondered why holidaymakers head for the sun? Thank Coco. In 1923, Chanel was enjoying a cruise in Cannes when she got sunburnt. The photographs of her caught people's attention and before we knew it, sunbathing was chic, as any roasting Brit on a Mediterranean beach will tell you.

3. The name

Coco Chanel wasn't given that name at birth. Christened Gabrielle she would later adopt the moniker Coco during her brief career as a cabaret singer in Vichy and Moulins. Chanel said that the name was a shortened version of cocotte, the French word for 'kept woman,' while other reports claim the name came from one of the songs she used to sing.

4. Convent life

After their mother died, Gabrielle and sister Julia grew up in the Aubazine Abbey, a convent in in the hills of the Correze that cared for orphans. Gabrielle lived at the Abbey between the ages of 11 and 18 and it was here that Chanel learned the sewing skills that would help launch her fashion career.

5. World War Two

The outbreak of war forced Chanel to fire all her workers and close her shops except for one on rue Cambon in Paris. Her affair with a German officer caused controversy and she was questioned over her relationship after the liberation. Although never officially denounced as a collaborator, Chanel's reputation was tarnished and she left France for Switzerland.

6. Euro reward

Credit: Reuters

To mark the 125th anniversary of Coco Chanel's birth, designer Karl Lagerfeld designed a 5 Euro coin.

7. Controversial Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld is no stranger to controversy through his fashion collections. Soon after joining Chanel he described his new collection for Fendi as being 'shaped to be raped'. In 1993, the fashion editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour, walked out of his Milan show after he used strippers and adult film star Moana Pozzi as models. More headlines followed the following year when he used a verse from the Koran in his spring couture collection for Chanel.

8. Lagerfeld and Adele

Lagerfeld said Adele was 'a little too fat' Credit: Reuters

One of Lagerfeld's most recent high profile faux pas came in 2012 when he described singer Adele as "a little too fat". The multi-million selling artist, who responded by saying she was proud of her looks, didn't seem to bothered about the comments when she picked up six Grammy awards later that year.

9. Lagerfeld at Chanel 'for life'

Karl Lagerfeld has been at the helm of Chanel for more than 30 years but doesn't expect to leave. The man who joined the couture house in 1983 turned 82 in September but shows no sign of slowing down.

"I think I'm pretty lucky that I can do what I like best in perfect conditions. I don't have to fight with anybody. You know my contracts with Fendi and Chanel are for life?" he told Vogue. "And I don't feel tired at all."

10. The LBD

Credit: PA

"Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress," Coco Chanel once said. It was one of her dresses that was to become and has remained a fashion staple: the Little Black Dress. Introduced in 1926, Chanel took a colour more associated with death and mourning and turned it into something stylish.