Economic conditions have been tough for a lot of luxury companies lately, but the brands that are weathering the recession the best seem to be the ones with the healthiest sense of history. Companies like Louis Vuitton and Gucci have both launched recent initiatives to link their storied pasts to their modern presents in the minds of customers, and it looks as though Chanel is dipping its perfectly manicured toes into similar waters.

Starting on May 8th, Chanel’s New York flagship on 57th Street will host The Secrets of the Chanel Handbag, an exhibit demonstrating the construction and history of the company’s iconic purses. Displays explaining how the bags are built and how they’ve evolved over the past half a century will be there, as well as a number of bags from the brand’s Paris archives. This may be your only opportunity to see some of these pieces in person, so if you’re in New York City, consider dropping by and having a look (and if you get pictures of anything, send them our way). The exhibit will run through May 16.

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