Wendy Waeni has been the name on everyone’s lips. She has been a trending topic ever since her appearance on JK Live where she accused her manager of being a scam artiste who flim-flamed his way into gaining control of her social media accounts then milking them for all their worth, while simultaneously locking her out of them.

But the thing is, she isn’t the first one to get such a bad deal from the person she has entrusted her business manager to have their best interest at heart only to get conned. Lads and lasses allow me to introduce you to Coco Chanel.


She was not only a designer but the first person who set up the fashion brand that was COCO CHANEL. At a time when women were not allowed to own businesses, she not only set one up but did so and established a fashion brand that has outlasted her and is poised to be the seminal house of fashion under whose model all the other were founded in.

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Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel (19 August 1883– 10 January 1971) was a French fashion designer and businesswoman. The founder and namesake of the Chanel brand, she was credited in the post-World War I era with liberating women from the constraints of the “corseted silhouette” and popularizing a sporty, casual chic as the feminine standard of style. A prolific fashion creator, Chanel extended her influence beyond couture clothing, realizing her design aesthetic in jewellery, handbags, and fragrance. Her signature scent, Chanel No. 5, has become an iconic product. She is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Chanel herself designed her famed interlocked-CC monogram, which has been in use since the 1920s.

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Turns out, Coco Chanel only owned 10% of her business. She was backed by financier Pierre Wertheimer, who was in-law to the famous Lazard family of bankers.  An unknown seamstress, Coco needed Wertheimer’s expertise, American business connections, and capital so the Chanel company partnership equity was owned 70% by Wertheimer, 10% by Chanel herself, and 20% by Chanel’s friend, Théophile Bader.

This is a nuanced case because, she set up a business at a time when no woman was allowed to own a business in France so in effect, she was coerced into running to a man for help even though she had been running the business successfully for aa number of years.

 

Additional reporting: Wikipedia, JoshuaKennon