Chanel is synonymous with timelessness. The brand’s coveted 2.55 bag (which is in fact its “date of birth”, February, 1955) continues to gain popularity for its classic design and longevity. Many people’s handbag collections have sprinklings of Chanel accessories from decades ago that never seem to age.

Mademoiselle Chanel designed her accessories to be both practical and sensible. To her, the accessories signified true emblem of luxury and elegance. This remains true to this day with Karl Lagerfeld at the helm of the brand.


When Coco Chanel began to design the classic bag, she strove for functionality. For this reason, the bag showcases a double flap with has a zip-fastened pocket inside it, intended as a secret place for storing a love letter or blank notes. On the inside of the bag there are three bellow pockets, also meant to store a lady’s necessities like lipstick.

Coco also insisted that the bag had to have body, which is why we see the quilted diamond shaped pattern that adds volume to the shape. The garnet colored lining matches the color of the uniform she wore in the orphanage, while the double C is stitched like a coat of arms. The iconic rectangular clasp that is gilted with gold, the famous leather and chain shoulder strap had never been seen on a handbag before Coco Chanel added them.

If you are in the Beverly Hills area, make sure to stop by the 400 North Rodeo Drive Boutique on Saturday, May 7 from 10-6 and Sunday, May 8 from 12-5 for the Secrets of the Handbag event.

  • GK

    Beautiful~
    I’d kill for the alligator version in the pictures…love the color~~~~
    if only i could afford one~! –;

  • Lisa

    It’s fascinating to see how predecessors make their handbags.

    @ecstewart

  • Lori dougherty

    Love Chanel bags! Loved reading about hoe they make their bags. Thank you

    • Jessica Sun

      Now I believed the value is worth, It is really difficult to made and the detail is so unbelivable. I am so regrat that I should start to invest when i was started work.

  • Marci

    Thanks for those great pictures. I bought my first Chanel 2.55 in the 90s on sale at Neiman Marcus and I thought it was so expensive – $700. I recently gave it to my daughter, it’s still looks perfect. Then about 10 yrs ago I bought a black Jumbo 2.55 on ebay for under $500. A girl from Orange Co, Ca was selling her Mother’s bags and it came with the original box. I still use that bag, These bags are classics that never go out of style. The older bags use the lambskin leather which are softer than the newer ones. It’s harder today to find the bargains but keep looking – you never know what you’ll find.

    • annika

      And that’s what I’m planning of doing, too, Marci! This Chanel 2.55 bag will be for my daughter when I pass on or when I can afford another Chanel purse. :) It’s really timeless.

  • i think fashion

    its really interesting to knw !

  • Chicky

    So exciting to see how that bag is made. I have the same style in silver. Impeccably crafted!!!

  • rose60610

    Interesting. How did you obtain the pictures? Coco was a remarkable lady and the books about her are fascinating. Buying a Chanel is like buying a piece of history, or at least that’s what I tell myself as I gulp at the prices.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      These photos were sent to us from Chanel directly

  • suz

    Really interesting. It sort of gives you an idea why these bags cost so much.

  • ede

    gorgeous! thanks for sharing!

  • annabelle

    now THIS is art!!! <3

    • Rebeca

      ever heard about hermes?

  • Nat

    Always fascinating to see how a Chanel handbag is made!

  • Lulugurl

    Great pictures of the making of a bag! This was such a neat look inside such an iconic brand!!!

  • Alessia

    Really interesting!! That’s why I paid € 2450 for my new Chanel bag!! It’s really expensive but it is worth as it is a real timeless chic bag!!
    The bag in your pictures is really chic and trendy, great post!!

  • MsLabelsOfLust

    TDF! I see why they cost so much now..

  • Mr. J

    People may not agree with me…but after seeing the process of making the bag…it totally turn me away from Chanel…since with the price they are charging now…I would expect it’s hand made instead of machine sewing…but this is only for me!!!

    • alund

      Exactly what I was thinking! Given the price of a Chanel purse, I would have expected it to be hand stitched, just like Hermes. Leads me to conclude, once again, that these purses are super over priced.

      • UGH YES

        agreed!

        the fact that they apply the hardware by hand in no way justifies the price.

        hmm. i think i might only buy one if it were vintage. and at a more reasonable price.

      • Ezra

        apparently many people still don’t understand the concept of designer products. designer products are like artworks. i can paint the same thing that andy warhol did and no one would probably buy it. why? because they’re buying the profile of the artist and the history that goes with it. same as chanel bags, people dont spend thousands of dollars to simply buy a bag, but they want to buy the brand. the product that was designed by coco chanel. and have the pride of wearing it because it is THAT expensive, not everyone can buy it. thats what it makes it extraordinary. if you want cheap 100% hand stitched bags, my grandma sells them and makes them herself.

      • Anna B

        So for the price of a Chanel you expect the quality of Hermes, which costs 4x as much?

    • theproperorderofthings

      Mr. J – You could never achieve the fine execution of a Chanel bag with actual hand-stitching without the bag falling apart. The companies that still use elements of hand stitching have a much bulkier, thicker & tougher, more “heritage” feel – like Hermes or even something super artisanal like Henri Cuir. Most people who aren’t familiar with bag construction don’t understand that handmade can still involve using a machine to stitch – there are varying degrees of machine stitching. Cheap knockoffs and many bags that are made in China for example, are almost entirely machine made, & those machine operators are definitely not what you’d call “artisans”. Bag makers at Chanel’s factories are skilled leatherworking experts and their bags are made using very time consuming expert craftsmanship whether they use a machine or not.

      • saddlersmith

        That is a silly comment, if a bag is properly hand stitched it will never ever fall apart, I could make you a bag and guarantee it for life. Machine stitching is just a way of churning out bags to make more money. There is no craftsmanship gone into making this bag. These bags could be made by anyone who was taught to operate a sewing machine (which believe me anyone can!). I create bespoke, hand stitched timeless classic using centries Old skills (even some of my tools are over a hundred years old!). But unfortunately I could never charge the amount of money to cover the work that is put into them as I don’t have the branding behind me! Believe me I could knock channel out of the water!

      • Jman

        Just put that little “CHANEL” tag on the front of the bag. That seems to bring the price up by a few thousand percent.

      • Naggie

        it’s Chanel not Channel. LOL.

      • zoe smith

        Sorry! Chanel! Damned predictive text! Lol!

      • Anna B

        Well, Hermes Birkins & Kellys are hand stitched and they still fall apart with time and use. You can send them back to have them tightened up, but leather, and the thread, are natural materials that won’t stay stiff and immobile forever. Personally I don’t understand the cult of Chanel because their products are very nice, but definitely not awe inspiring the way some people talk about them. However, they are made with meticulous care whether machine or hand stitched.

      • tkellyd

        Has anyone even looked at the thickness of the Chanel handbag in the pictures? Not only is it many layered, it looks to be over 1/4″ thick. Try sewing that by hand . . .

  • qudz

    wow, that is simply amazing!!

  • Mochababe73

    Frankly, I like the fact that they are machine sewn. It doesn’t take anything away from the bag.
    Everything else seems to be done by hand. Trust me, there are plenty of machines that can churn out mediocre bags. These people are even taking the time to screw in the hardware.
    Now, if I could just afford one!

  • ninjaninja

    Beautiful color!

  • The Little Dust Princess

    All the work that goes into this is amazing!

  • Anokah

    This is an AMAZING AMAZING article, thank you sooo much for this!!

  • 19yearslater

    This is really cool. Chanel bags are gorgeous.

  • kim

    Love the bag, but this exotic one!

  • Lynda

    This was aboslutely amazing to learn! I’m loving the bag too [:

  • Bir

    Beautiful I’m not sure if I like the interior or the exterior more beautiful inside and out!!!!

  • Christine A.

    Wow, that is fantastic craftsmanship!

  • fuchsiafury

    I love this behind-the-scenes look! What wonderful craftsmanship!

  • KoutureCrochet

    I wish I could attend that event! I am in ny but it sounds amazing. I love the workmanship that goes into these bags. Enough chanel is not quite my style, I still admire their beauty!

    KoutureCrochet.etsy.com
    http://www.KoutureCrochet.com

  • Gigi

    The Death of Me – Chanel!

  • mona

    yes..very beautiful and chic…i wish I can afford to get one by reasonable price!

  • DJ

    I love these photos! I bought my first Chanel bag just last week but I have a feeling it won’t be my last.

  • mm

    wow really beautiful chanel bags http://www.myluxuryclubs.com

  • Katta

    Very interesting and instructive :)

  • Rene

    Great education. I wish that the pictures were in order though. It is like a puzzle trying to figure out which one goes first and which one is next.
    Nevertheless it shows a great bag with many clever compartments, and the gold color is to die for.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      We can try to fix up the order k!

  • givemedesigners

    Gorgeous!! Love how it’s all handmade down to very last stitching!

  • Leah

    Seriously!! Ugh so amazing.. I don’t know if I can interrupt mother’s day for it however :(

    I posted it on my blog as well.. http://couturearabesque.blogspot.com/2011/05/so-much-chanel-so-little-time.html

    xoxo!
    Leah

  • Janet

    Loved the photos. I own Chanel bags and never gave it a thought as to how the bags were made. Now I know. Thank you for posting the photos & information. I sincerely appreciate it.

  • cristina

    I bought my first Chanel bag when I was 18 years old (I’m now 49). Since then, I have bought 9 more but my first Chanel bag looks like I bought yesterday: timeless. My daughter can’t wait to have one of them someday!!!

  • ChanelAngel

    I love Chanel… and always will. Bought my 1st Chanel jumbo in 2010 and am steadily increasing my collection! Buying my 5th one soon.

  • Cathy Fitz

    Wonderful article and pictures! And the bag – I swoon.

  • eorchid

    Gorgeous! Will you please share more info and details on the event this wkd in BH? Thanks!

  • Donna Baker

    FYI – my friend just dropped 2800euros on a vintage 1970’s classic black Chanel bag in Paris. The vintage ones are not cheap.

  • mangiapeach

    Come to FIT’s Accessory Design Department – we teach how to design and to make bags just like this and more…

  • Kabudiharto

    I love this article

  • lucy

    I totally get the comments posted by Mr. J and alund, but keep in mind that a flap maxi is $4K (with a price increase coming on June 1 ), but an Hermes Birkin starts at about $10K. So while you are paying a lot for “machine stitching,” in the world of fabulously expensive handmade luxury bags, there’s a big difference still between the price of hand stitching versus machine stitching. And given how much of the Chanel IS done by hand, it’s still (to me, anyway) a bag that’s worth what it costs.

  • seedlessplum

    I wished they wore gloves when making the precious purse. But why aint they?

  • Rolando

    The pattern work on the bag is amazing.
    http://www.emalleny.com

  • Sotelo

    Onedayiwillhaveone!!!!

  • dd

    good

  • Jeanne W

    That’s why I love Chanel so much!! I bought my first Chanel in April 1989, it was classic black. Since then I became a Chanel collector. Now I have about 80+ Chanel handbags. :)

  • aida

    Love Chanel, If only I could afford one.

  • Nicole

    I have two CHANEL classics…one black and one white and I totally love them!

    I make others very envy when I wear them going out shopping or whatever. It almost makes me smile lol

    To those of you who DO NOT have one let me say this to you: Go out and get one! Life is too short and you only have ONE life to live…so fill it with the best and make it the best! : )

    You don’t know when you’re gonna die so GO GET ONE QUICK!

    Also, do it NOW before the prices go up higher! Because you might not be able to afford it later…purchase it NOW!

  • jocelyn g. palad

    i love my chanel bags….i bought my 3 bags from paris at farbough st ,rue st honore,one bag from orange county and another bag fr houston texas. st

  • boomba

    Ever hear of paper……paper bags…..women are often uppity!

    • Nicole

      What do you exactly mean by that? Are you referring to the women here who brag about owning a CHANEL handbag?

  • jLoS

    Does Chanel use REAL Lambskin?? As in slaughter the poor creature in order to make these bags?!?!

    • New

      Yes. Are you judging the people who buy these bags because if you are I hope your a veggie who dosnt wear leather shoes.

    • Dani

      please stop with this bullshit comments.. they? don’t kill animals for the bags.. the leather industry reuses the skins from the animals bred for the meat industry..

      if there would not be tanneries, we would be covered in tones of putrified shit all over the place.

      • Anna B

        That’s a very rosy view of the world, but in reality that isn’t always true. Certainly not for exotic skins like ostrich & crocodile.

  • Sneez72003

    Thank you really cool. I really love Chanel!

  • Val

    Saddlersmith, what price would you charge to make a bag that knocks Chanel out of the water? I love hand-crafted items…and I have the perfect idea in mind. THANKS!

  • easonvae

    :-D

  • easonvae

    :-D

  • Jman

    I like how they use tools and equipment that show NO wear. Makes you think if these pictures were taken just for publicity while the sweatshops in Indonesia pull another 36-hour day.

  • Jman

    At the end of the day, you’re paying multiple thousands of dollars for not even 1% of that cost in materials and cheap labor, because “COCO CHANEL” is on the front of the bag.

    Go to A-N-Y store that isn’t in or around Times Square, and get a handbag that’ll last years for $50. This consumerism society is disgusting when people would spend THAT much on a place to put random shit to carry around with them.

  • melrosemiss

    I would love to know if it is possible to sew a version of this at home, in leather.

  • shazokhan

    did chanel ever use plastic in the interiors of vintage bags.

  • http://fashiondacci.blogspot.com/ fashiondacci

    i was searching this article because i remembered i read an article regarding how many hours does it really take to make a 2.55 also with details about another designer labels as well.