Chanel’s iconic bags have a fascinating, surprising past

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Sparky

    Wrong math. $220 in 1955 is equal to $1,945 today.
    Its not just a bit past rate of inflation, its obscenely past the rate of inflation.

    • (I was being sarcastic! It’s an astronomical increase.)

      • Sparky

        Oh! Sorry! I missed the sarcasm. Having a Sheldon Moment.

      • No worries! It can be hard to telegraph that in print–we’re all doing our best, haha.

  • AshleyG

    I need to see the WHOLE pic for slide 8! I think I love that dress!!!

  • circafashion

    Love this history lesson. Informative post

  • laura

    The first time I went to Italy was in 2005. I was a poor college student but I had saved enough money to buy a classic flap. I remember going to the store a couple of times but ended up not buying because I thought it was too much $. It was, in fact but I never thought the price was going to double. If I had only known…

    • specialj

      Same here :(

  • Olivia J.

    $220 in 1955! WOW

    • Pamela

      would’ve been a bargain haha

  • PJGambler

    Great blog- loved the research- thank you!

  • Loved the post. Very informative

  • Scottsdale Kim

    I heard once that the diamond shaped pattern on the leather was reminiscent of the window panes at the orphanage and that the chain handle was similar to the chain used for keys at the orphanage. Has anyone heard this?

    • You’re right about the chain. Wikipedia has this to say about the quilted pattern: “the pattern is believed to have been inspired by several sources: by jockeys’ riding coats, by the stained-glass windows of the abbey at Aubazine, as well as by the cushions in Chanel’s Paris apartment.

  • Graham

    Per BOF today: From 2009 to 2014, the cost of a Classic Flap skyrocketed by 70 percent
    http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/super-shrink-me-the-rise-of-the-mini-handbag

  • Smithy

    In the past I’ve owned a couple of Chanel wallets, a WOC and a hobo bag. They all ended up being sold on eBay. That cycle is not unusual to me, but as I get older I find myself more attracted to well-made bags with no identifying logo.

  • It would be really cool to see what Coco Chanel’s own personal handbags looked like. I’m interested to see whether they were well used or if she kept them in pristine condition LOL

    • Corey

      Agree! Like Jane’s Birkins, always interesting how namesakes and designers alike fair with their creations.

  • Tina

    What about the open pocket on the back of the bag? I always wondered if that had a story.

    • hectorrobertocontrerasmiranda

      for tickes, spare change or other small pieces of paper also from the original version by Coco

    • Tinsley Proust

      Coco Chanel believed in tipping well, so she used that pocket for tip money.

  • Sara

    Thanks for clarifying single versus double flap. I wrongly assumed that single flap versions were fakes. Little did I know!

    • Sparkletastic

      I actually prefer the single flap. The double flaps seem unnecessary.

  • fefster

    This is helpful, because I asked on the Chanel forum and my thread was closed because apparently I am meant to do research on this before I post. I’m still confused though lol.

    • Daisy Fields

      LOL

  • W S M

    God, the 2.55 is so beautiful.

    • GH68

      Classics made these days are too puffy. Which is why reisssues look so much better!

  • Nor Kam

    I recognised the person in the last picture is Mindy Kaling.

  • Great post! Very helpful, great information without a bunch of extraneous stuff.

  • Ivonia duarte

    I Love my bag 2.55 black…..??????

  • Dwightinha

    Very interesting, thank you so much! I believe my navy blue metallic is a true Re-issue then. I know there was another darker navy version later, but that was 2008 I believe. Both Portero and Yogi’s Closet had a version of this bag for sale, but for a ridiculous amount. I bought mine preloved too, but if the prices I saw today is current on the pre-loved market i would have made good money. Not for sale though, the color and the style is beautiful. Just one question; the Re-issue came in several sizes right? But what size was the original?

  • Shireen

    Why do some chanel flap bags has a back pocket and some doesnt? Are the ones without back pocket fake?

    • Tinsley Proust

      Any classic flap or 2.55/reissue should have a back pocket. The Boy bags don’t ever have them, and only some WOCs have them. Certain seasonal flaps may or may not have back pockets.

  • Natalie K.

    which leather was originally used and how it evolved? I guess caviar was introduced later.

  • Soriah

    I currently own a single flap jumbo and previously owned a double flap jumbo. Didn’t really love the double flap, kind of a hassle getting into it.

  • psny15

    they are all beautiful except those ugly WOC and boy bags!

  • Ruby

    I thought I’d love my bag, but I found it heavy and inconveniently shaped for my stuff. Anyone else?

  • Jhon112

    Extremely good work. your product collection are so beautiful. It Really likable.

  • I would love to see informative posts like this more often! Great source of info.

  • Yeerj

    I found a vintage 2.55 from the 80’s pre-serial number. This bag does not have the screws on the backside of the CC logo. Is this a fake?

  • mel

    Affordable designer handbags on Christmas Sale – http://fassionpassionbee.com (Chanel, YSL, LV, Gucci, Prada & more) Complimentary Shipping + Paypal + Returns

  • Zaina

    Do you know about when the Reissue started sticking to double flaps solely? Also are there styles of reissues that incorporates leather into the chain as well? Thanks!