This won’t be shocking news to anyone who saw the results of both our handbag-themed March Madness and World Cup brackets (Chanel won both without much trouble), but the French brand has taken another Internet crown. Chanel was the most reblogged handbag brand on Tumblr and second most popular fashion brand overall, behind only Nike. Here’s why that’s not so surprising.
Chanel’s smartest move (at least for its current sales) may have been never debuting bags made of logo-covered canvas in the early 2000s, when such bags were a consumer goldmine. In recent years, brands that used that tactic to create a lower price entry point for aspirational customers have seen their sales fall off; not only do consumers not want those bags as much as they used to, but they’re increasingly less willing to pay for any bags from a brand that’s known for them. It can hurt a brand’s leather business by association.
While Chanel’s interlocking-C logo is well-known and has graced the exteriors of thousands of handbag designs, the slight restraint that the brand showed a decade ago, combined with Karl Lagerfeld’s strong sense for how fashion fits with the larger cultural zeitgeist, appears still to serve it well. Tumblr’s quick turnover of images is a great test of how young people perceive a brand overall, and it appears as though Chanel has done a better job of courting the young and aesthetically minded than many of its competitors. It doesn’t hurt that what probably springs to mind for those potential customers are luxury leather bags with a bit of branding instead of less expensive options with tons of it.