There are a number of factors which contribute to the success of a brand, both in terms of its status and popularity among consumers. One of the leading contributors for the Chanel brand is its intrinsic connection to specific trends and iconic fashion moments – many of which we now recognise as important milestones in the world of fashion. Spearheaded by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel herself, these moments elevate the Chanel brand so that every piece is a part of history rather than simply an accessory – making Coco Chanel the OG celebrity who endorsed and made the Chanel handbag what it is.
But Chanel isn’t the only celebrity who bolstered the status and reputation of her handbags on the market. In this blog, we’re taking a deep dive into the history of Chanel from a reputation perspective, sharing the names of those who elevated the brand’s status among consumers – from the founder herself through to 21st century fans of the Chanel handbag.
Iconic Moments from Chanel’s History
Arguably the most iconic moment from Chanel’s history was the creation of the Chanel 2.55 handbag, which was brought to life by Coco Chanel after she found herself drawn to the convenience of bags used by soldiers, which had shoulder straps and could be carried with ease, completely hands-free.
What the Chanel 2.55 did for the world of women’s accessories in particular was combine the desire for beautiful and luxurious things but make them practical – creating a movement that is still very much a part of Chanel’s driving force today, and which was frequently aired in the collections inspired by Karl Lagerfeld and other designers.
Of course, if we’re going to talk about Chanel as a fashion icon and a statement luxury brand, both then and now, we can’t ignore the influence that the brand has had on other corners of the luxury market – with the Chanel No.5 fragrance a cult classic, the Little Black Dress another idea born from Chanel herself, and Chanel jewellery always an incredibly popular statement on the market.
With that said, and with Coco Chanel richly ingrained in the history of the brand and its spotlight products, which modern celebrities have contributed towards the success of the Chanel brand?
Karl Lagerfeld as Creative Director
Another unapologetically iconic moment began the instant that Chanel appointed Karl Lagerfeld as Creative Director for the luxury brand – with the announcement sparking a shake-up that was designed to reignite the brand’s heritage and build on concepts which had been set in stone by Chanel herself.
When Lagerfeld took over at Chanel, the brand was growing tired and had become bland. Lagerfeld’s presence gave the brand and all of its products a facelift, which is why recognising his influence as a high-profile designer is integral to understanding the popularity of Chanel as a luxury brand today.
One of the most iconic moments which came from Lagerfeld was the design and creation of the double-C logo, which he used as the clasp for the brand’s most popular handbags and as a way of communicating the brand in a single visual to consumers around the world. He is also largely responsible for the incredible influence that collaborations had and still have on major brands in both the luxury and other retail sectors, showcasing brands in often unexpected and innovative ways.
Finally, Lagerfeld is responsible for many of the following celebrity moments that elevated the Chanel brand in the eyes of consumers – including this first incredibly iconic brand moment involving actress Nicole Kidman.
Nicole Kidman’s Chanel Dress
Nicole Kidman is known for her exquisite presence on the red carpet on a multitude of occasions, but one of the most notable was the 2023 Met Gala, which was specifically themed to honour the passing of Lagerfeld after his recent death. During the Gala, Nicole Kidman wore a dress that was designed exclusively for her to star in the 2004 Chanel No.5 advert, bringing back an almost 20-year-old dress which was dreamed up and brought to life in collaboration with Lagerfeld himself.
As an iconic celebrity moment, this was one which demonstrated the incredible design flair and quality of the Chanel couture collection.
Celebrities and Their Chanel Bags
Moving back towards Chanel handbags in particular, there are some celebrity names that are commonly and intrinsically linked to the brand.
One particularly iconic moment saw Rihanna step out with the Chanel perfume bottle bag and a long chain shoulder strap, combining two classic Chanel designs and statements in one key accessory. This evening bag is just one example of how modern Chanel designs infuse fun and playful energy into even the high-end collections, exploring collaborations within its own product line. In fact, this same bag has been seen on the red carpet in the hand of Miroslava Duma, demonstrating its versatility and popularity.
Another similar moment occurred when Kim Kardashian, another major fan of the Chanel brand and owner of several designer bags, was pictured sporting a bright-green handbag alongside a black outfit to offset and balance the colour and allow the bag to pop.
Some other celebrities who are frequently pictured out and about with their Chanel handbags include Eva Longoria, Hilary Duff, Rita Ora, Jennifer Aniston, and more.
Is a Chanel Handbag a Good Investment?
Beyond the celebrity culture and the incredible impact that Chanel as a brand has had on the world of fashion, accessories, and luxury style, a Chanel handbag is considered one of the best investments that you can find on the tangible marketplace.
This is because, when you buy a Chanel handbag, you own a small slice of history, with every collection boasting limited supply and incredible demand. This, paired with the unrivalled quality and status of the brand as a whole, means that every bag garners huge attention and constantly increasing prices on the retail and second-hand markets.
When seeking your perfect Chanel handbag, make sure to always buy from reputable sellers with full authentication checks in place.