You probably associate Coco Chanel with fashion, celebrity, and luxury — we all do. With classic cuts and gorgeous accessories that defined a generation, Chanel has become a brand and an ethos that reaches every corner of the globe. But Coco Chanel, born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, did not start her life drenched in glamour — in fact, she started as far from that as you can imagine. In this film, you get a real sense of Coco Chanel’s life — and the rag to riches tale that she lived.

“She was an illegitimate child, born into a poorhouse and abandoned in an orphanage, but Coco Chanel rose from unimaginable poverty to create the most iconic fashion brand of the 20th century, The House of Chanel,” the video explains. “With steely ambition, she took advantage of wealthy lovers, rose to the top in a male-dominated world, and created a style of clothing that changed the face of women’s fashion forever.” With a mother who died young and a father who placed her in an orphanage, it was through her occasional visits to see her aunts that she was first exposed to sewing and fashion. As you watch the film, her incredible life story unravels with twist after turn. You can see the whole thing here:

Many of us wouldn’t have imagined that Coco Chanel spent her time in music halls and as a live-in mistress, but truth is often stranger than fiction. From orphan seamstress to socialite to household name — dealing with spies, Nazis, and war — Chanel lived it all. But ultimately, she knew how to design for women, real women, rather than dolls and plus ones. That’s why her story — and her designs — live on.