The Chanel 11.12 Bag is arguably one of the most iconic and recognizable handbags of all time. Many of you know the 11.12 well, maybe by its more common name: the Chanel Classic Flap. In fact, the 11.12 name originates from the style code given to the Medium Classic Flap (A01112) as this was the original and classic size of the bag. However, the 11.12 has grown to include many sizes in the Timeless Classics family including Mini Square, Mini Rectangle, Small, Medium, Jumbo and Maxi. While the line of Classic Flaps is vast, the Medium is the size many purchase for their first Chanel piece as it will be a staple not just for you, but for whoever you pass the bag down to.
The 11.12 is a reinterpretation of the Chanel 2.55 bag which was created by Gabrielle Chanel in February of 1955. Karl Lagerfeld helped the 11.12 hit iconic status in the early 1980s by adding new, and now iconic details, including the double C clasp and the leather interlaced on the metal chain strap. Every detail reflects Chanel’s heritage including the overall conception. The 11.12 is a bag in a bag, as the stitch and turn (piqué retourné) technique creates the shape which is then held in place with points de bride stitches. There are seven functional pockets, which makes this bag as usable as it is fashionable. The diamond quilting topstitched with the “point droit de couturière” that covers the outside of the body of the bag is inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s love for horses. The long chain handle is meant to allow the bag to be versatile, functional, and sit nicely on the body which was always a focus of Chanel.
“The 11.12 bag is the iconic bag par excellence. It is a truly timeless bag, which remains as modern and chic as ever,” says Louise de Chevigny. “Fashion evolves but there is always this bag. It adds elegance to every silhouette. I like the idea that I will pass it on to my daughter if I am lucky enough to have one. My mother used to have one, and when I was younger I would steal it from her. At first to play with and then when I started going to parties, it was a source of pride.”
Functional and refined, the 11.12 Bag was originally crafted from supple lambskin leather, which at the time was only used for glove makers. Now there are other leathers, including grained calfskin which is known as “caviar” as well as other materials that coincide with Chanel ready-to-wear collections including jersey, tweed, silk, velvet and denim.
While the popularity of bags is ever changing, the Chanel 11.12 will forever be stamped in history as one of the most iconic bags ever. Extreme bag lovers and new bag aficionados alike know the bag, and the combination of timelessness as well as modernity make it a cornerstone of a bag lovers closet. It’s a bag that you cherish for yourself, but also can be passed down and cherished by the next generation.
The new campaign, The Chanel Iconic, was shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin’s in the Paris neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The 11.12, in classic colors (which highlights the true timelessness of the bag) was photographed on the arms of Anna Mouglalis, Rianne van Rompaey, Imaan Hammam, Louise de Chevigny and Zoé Adjani. Each shared their thoughts on their special connection to the bag for this campaign as well. The 11.12 bag is not just a classic for the House of Chanel, but for handbags in general. Each bag tells the story of Chanel’s DNA and brings together history, elegance, luxury, and craftsmanship to make this bag a beacon of dreams for the wearer and future wearer alike. Below are some of our favorite seasonal offerings of the 11.12 bag from Chanel right now.
“This luxury, this savoir-faire, it has always fascinated and touched me,” continues Zoé Adjani. “The 11.12 represents Chanel: the double C, the hidden pocket, the small pockets inside. And it suits me: I love to compartmentalise. With all the history it carries inside, it represents more than a bag: it’s like carrying Paris on your shoulder.”