About the story
‘I entered a world, the world of fashion, where women had little place.’
One afternoon in 1961, a young Japanese woman called Hanae Mori arrived at the offices of the great fashion designer Coco Chanel, in Paris. Hanae was nervous. She had always admired the pictures of Chanels clothes that she had seen in fashion magazines at home in Japan. She had also read a lot about Chanel and knew that she was a person with very strong opinions. Now Hanae was going to ask Chanel to design a suit for her. As she sat and waited for her meeting, Hanae watched the women in the office come and go. Some wore stylish Chanel suits; others wore skirts and loose blouses with lots of beautiful jewellery.