In the Spring of 2017, Chanel put the entirety of its marketing resources towards releasing a new line of handbags, and collectively, for better or for worse, the handbag world took notice.
Debuting with massive fanfare and the mission of targeting a younger consumer base, the Gabrielle was unlike anything we’d seen previously from the late Karl Lagerfeld and the house of Chanel. A relaxed hobo, the Gabrielle embodied an effortlessly cool, contemporary vibe, and though it took some time to gain the momentum the brand hoped for, eventually, it became a go-to for celebs.
Despite its acceptance amongst stars, the Gabrielle failed to win the hearts of die-hard Chanel fans (unlike the Boy Bag which was the brand’s first foray into modernity and met with immediate praise). The Gabrielle received mixed reviews from many, but still, reappeared each season in new colors and novelty iterations like tweed and metallics.
The Puzzle of the Gabrielle’s Popularity
The Gabrielle Bag had the makings of a bag that could reach It-status, but despite all that, it never really took off. Two years after making its debut, I wondered if the Gabrielle could stand the test of time, but even then it was hard to tell, as two years is a short amount of time in the handbag world. However, in late 2021 I mused on the Gabrielle once again, as my bag-radar had me convinced the Gabrielle would soon reach its fate. At the time, it seemed that the Gabrielle’s popularity was trending down, and even its prices on the resale market were falling below retail value, but Chanel was actively still producing the Gabrielle bag, and it was still actively on Chanel’s website as well as readily available in boutiques.
Late last year, rumors began swirling that the Gabrielle was finally being discontinued, and while it’s no longer listed on Chanel’s website, it’s not exactly…dead, if you will. Five years after making its grand debut, the Gabrielle isn’t an active part of the collection. Our source at Chanel explained that the brand is no longer offering new renditions of it for each collection, but all carryover versions (black/black, black/beige, and black/white) remain available for order at the discretion of buyers. Though rare, it will occasionally appear in boutiques from time to time.
However, all signs do point to the Gabrielle eventually joining the handbag graveyard alongside its older siblings the GST, the Medallion Shopping Tote, and more fan-favorites that have been put to rest. Have you spotted the Gabrielle in stores recently?