Chanel    Throwback Thursday

An Ode to Chanel’s Paris-Bombay Back to School Messenger

Did Chanel just dip into its archives for inspiration?

Vintage-inspired and archival revivals have been all the rage lately. From the Gucci Diana to the Fendi Baguette, Prada Cleo and the list goes on, it seems that what’s old is most definitely new again.

While most of the aforementioned brands have used this trend as leverage to sell handbags, often planning huge marketing campaigns around the drops of these vintage-inspired handbags, other brands operate a little differently. Take for example Chanel, whose entire brand is based around true classics, or elevated versions of them, that work time and time again, making the need for pushing archival revivals obsolete.

An Uncanny Resemblance

Yet, if you analyze Chanel’s new bags you can often place its influences back to a certain collection, time period or specific bag in general, and that’s exactly what happened when I saw bags from Chanel’s Fall 2021 Pre-Collection. Instantly my brain rushed back to a time nearly a decade ago. It was the winter of 2012 and I had just graduated college. I had a lot (read: too much), time on my hands and because I was trying to break into the fashion industry I spent hours upon hours on my computer, keeping up with the latest trends, collections, business dealings and what was what in the industry.

When I spotted this messenger bag, which this season Chanel simply calls a flap bag, among the Pre-Collection I knew I had seen something similar sometime ago, and it wasn’t long before I discovered its influences. Enter, Chanel’s 2012 Métiers d’Art Paris-Bombay Collection. The collection as a whole was one of Chanel’s edgier ones, featuring rugged chains and neutral earth tones with touches of the more feminine details the brand is known for. Chains specifically continue to reign supreme in the designer bag world, so it’s not surprising to see the nods to this collection today.

And one bag in particular caught my eye then, so much so that I still vividly remembered its details, 9 years later. I remember thinking that it was a bag I would carry, different from the stiff vision and more formal aesthetic that I pictured when I thought of Chanel. Though I knew the bag would never be mine at that time, it lived in my head and remained there tucked away in a tiny corner until I saw the latest Pre-Collection.

Chanel Paris-Bombay Back To School Messenger Bag

This beauty remains to be incredibly rare, and a search of the resale market yields pretty much zero results. Though versions (there are two sizes) have been for sale on Fashionphile, The RealReal and Poshmark in the past. Characterized byan over edgy vibe with a chunky chain I still dream about this beautiful bag. The bag’s stunning iridescent quilted body is accented by antique-tone hardware, which is something I love on a bag rather than shiny chains or hardware. Just as relevant now as ever, this rare bag is one I won’t soon forget.

Do you remember this bag or the 2012 Métiers d’Art Paris-Bombay Collection?


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