A Chanel handbag is so much more than an accessory. It’s a fusion of functionality and style, with the design, craftsmanship, and quality all shining through in both the aesthetic look and longevity of every model and every piece in the collection.
The Chanel brand is, of course, iconic. But which of the many luxury handbags in their roster is the most famous and the most highly coveted by buyers and investors alike? In this blog, we take a look at what has been determined as the most popular and iconic design available today – the Chanel 2.55.
But first, a little about Chanel and how the brand became such a household name in the luxury sphere.
How did Chanel begin their fashion empire?
The history of Chanel is widely reported and revered, with endless blogs online giving you insight into the brand, its growth, and its move into the luxury market.
Chanel was founded by Gabrielle Coco Chanel, who opened her first hat shop in 1910 – before proceeding to sell dresses that challenged traditional womenswear and gave women somewhere to find something special and unique.
In 1921 she unveiled her first fragrance – the famous Chanel No. 5 – and in 1926 the brand unveiled its first little black dress, creating a global and still-present phenomenon.
It wasn’t until after the war, in 1955, that Chanel staged a reopening following her store’s closures during the war, with a big fashion show. And during this time, she launched the now iconic Chanel 2.55 bag – which the rest of this blog revolves around.
What is Chanel’s most iconic handbag?
Created and launched in 1955, the Chanel 2.55 handbag is the one that almost every woman on the planet will be familiar with – boasting its padded leather aesthetic, gold chain shoulder strap, and strong but light structure. Crucially, this bag was the first which allowed women to carry the bag while leaving her hand free for other uses – thanks to the shoulder strap – something which Chanel herself had always wanted in a bag.
This quickly catapulted the design into the minds and desires of women everywhere.
The History of the Chanel 2.55 bag
Following its release in 1955, the Chanel 2.55 bag (named for its release date on February (2) 1955) then saw a re-release in 2005 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. This new model of the iconic flap bag integrated as much of the original design as possible, from the original lock mechanism to the quilted calfskin leather.
The re-issue models, made in 2005 and named ‘The Timeless Classic’, are incredibly rare and can be identified by their unique marking inside the flap which reads “1955 – 2005” on either side of the Chanel logo. And as you would expect, the limited nature of these bags only adds to their coveted status and place on the market as a rare and highly coveted investment piece.
Celebrities that popularised the Chanel 2.55
With the status of luxury icon comes a certain amount of publicity from high up places – and the Chanel 2.55 bag is no stranger to celebrity fans and advocates.
Some of the most popular and recognisable examples of the Chanel 2.55 in use include:
- Jackie Kennedy was one of the earliest fans of the flap bag, wearing it from its release date in February 1955.
- Audrey Hepburn owned an entire collection of Chanel 2.55 bags in the 1960s.
- Kim Kardashian took a Chanel 2.55 to Toronto in 2011.
- Kate Moss was pictured out and about with her Chanel 2.55 in 2013.
Some other dates and iconic moments in the Chanel 2.55’s history to note include when Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel and created, in 2007, a luxurious and high-end diamante version of the iconic design.
Features of the Chanel 2.55
Even if you don’t know the name, the chances are that you will have seen images of the famous Chanel 2.55 bag out and about.
The standout features of this bag include the quilted material aesthetic, the gold or silver chain shoulder strap, and the famous Mademoiselle twist lock mechanism which was reinstated as part of the remodel in 2005 by Karl Lagerfeld.
Referred to by many as Chanel’s flap bag, what makes this design even more special is its intrinsic link to the desires and preferences of its original designer, Chanel herself, who wanted a convenient bag with multiple pockets and separated interior areas for all her possessions, a flap for security and privacy, a hidden zipper section in the upper flap (apparently where Chanel hid her love letters) and a shoulder strap to allow her to use her hands freely.
Reasons why the Chanel 2.55 flap bag is so iconic
Aside from its celebrity status and features, the Chanel 2.55 gets its iconic status from the fusion of aesthetic value and high functionality and convenience.
And that’s before you even begin to look at the quality, which is unrivalled with flawless stitching across both the outside and inside of each bag.
It is the perfect bag for all occasions
The bag is hugely versatile and can be dressed up or down for any occasion – with the various pockets (said to be for secret love letters, lipstick, and other private possessions) making this bag as practical as it is stylish and timelessly fashionable.
You only have to look at an authentic Chanel 2.55 bag to see why it is regarded as the perfect bag. Its shape and size mean that it has enough room for everything you might need, without being considered oversized.
It is a great investment piece
The Chanel 2.55 bag may be priced high, but that price is reflected in the quality of design and material, and intricate detailing. As an investment, its value has skyrocketed over the years – with genuine pieces which are still high in quality and finish fetching thousands on the resale market.
And it’s not just this model which is popular with buyers on both the new and resale market.
What other bags are among Chanel’s best?
Other popular models from Chanel’s luxury handbag collection include the Chanel Boy Bag and the Chanel 19 which is also now part of the Chanel classic collection.
How to sell my Chanel handbag?
No matter which model you opt for, the investment value of an authentic Chanel bag is high – with the Love Luxury team here to help you fetch the best price for the resale of your luxury handbag.
To start the process of selling your Chanel handbag, complete our online form and then book an appointment to visit us with your bag for a full inspection and appraisal. Following this we will give you a full quote and, if you decide to sell, will deliver payment as quickly as possible.