"The most courageous thing is still to think for yourself."
Coco Chanel became a successful French fashion designer and entrepreneur by thinking for herself. While the women of the early 1900's were dressing with the "corseted silhouette" look, Coco started designing comfortable causal clothes. Harper Magazine credited Coco with "liberating women from the frills, fuss and constraints endured by earlier generations."
In the '30's, when the gap between rich and poor was most prominent, she developed what is still considered a wardrobe "must have" - the little black dress. It was simple, elegant, and comfortable. It allowed common people to "dress like millionaires."
The fashion trend of the '40's was to increase brand awareness through advertising. Coco did the opposite with her Chanel No. 5 perfume and eliminated all advertising. The brand flourished as an iconic product over decades. In the '50's, Marilyn Monroe was asked what she wears to bed. Her provocative response was "five drops of Chanel No. 5."
Coco's willingness to think for herself made such an impact that Time Magazine listed her as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Strategic Thinking is about thinking for yourself.