The Chanel Bag

Intertwined with the legacy of Coco Chanel, the maison’s coveted handbags are some of the most sought-after accessories on the resale market. Whether a vintage 2.55, Classic Flap, or Chanel 19, these investment pieces have proven lifetime value. In this latest guide to collectable handbags, Reluxe uncovers the history of Chanel’s most iconic designs and how to shop with longevity in mind.

Chanel’s handbag history

The evolution of the Chanel bag we know and love begins in February 1955 when Coco Chanel designed the original 2.55 handbag. As a visionary of utilitarian luxury for modern women, it comes as no surprise that this was one of the first handbags with a shoulder strap, empowering the wearer to move freely. Such features, including its handy hidden compartments, made it became a mark of female rebellion.

Inherited by Karl Lagerfeld, the bag underwent a few key changes, notably replacing the traditional ‘Mademoiselle’ oblong lock with today’s iconic ‘CC’ interlocking style. Chanel’s successor later re-issued the 2.55 in 2005, launching the bag to its celebrity-adored status.

The Classic Flap:

Featuring the iconic interlocking CC lock and leather-woven chain, this enduring classic comes in all shapes and sizes.

Chanel Boy:

A Karl Lagerfeld creation, the Chanel Boy Bag’s motocross-style ribbed edges and unpolished finish have youthful appeal.

Gabrielle Bag:

Named after the iconic figurehead, the Chanel Gabrielle Bag emerged in 2017 with a crossbody and backpack iteration. Loved by celebrities and the fashion industry alike.

Making The Best Investment

Chanel’s prices rise steadily each year - twice a year, in fact - with the Classic Flap Bag experiencing the greatest uptick in 2023. Firsthand and resale prices can vary dramatically between colour, materials, and size, but this is an accessory that universally holds its value. The more exotic materials, many of which are no longer in use, and limited edition designs tend to fetch a higher price due to their rarity. However, the highly popular black caviar leather also maintains its value at resale because of its classic status, durable construction, and wearability.

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