Vintage Chanel Bags were instant classics the moment they first became available for the public back in 1929. Over the decades there has been the development of the classic looks (the chain straps, the quilting, those famous interlocking C’s gracing each bag) and definitely the development of a mass fascination with those beautiful classic bags. They are high quality, luxurious, sexy, iconic, and let’s face it, they’re a little bit of magic. Chanel bags have become such symbols and so well-known because of those features, but I bet you don’t know all the ‘methods behind the madness’ so lets take a moment and get educated or as we, at Intrigue, like to say “Chanel Certified”.
In the 1920s, Coco Chanel became tired of having to carry her handbags in her arms and decided to design a handbag that freed up her hands. Inspired by the straps found on soldiers’ bags she added thin straps and introduced the resulting design to the market.
After her successful comeback to the fashion industry in 1954, Chanel decided to update her handbag. The resulting design was called 2.55 after the date of creation, February 1955. It’s features all have a tale to tell from inside out…
• The lining – The lining’s burgundy color represents the color of the uniforms from the convent where she grew up.
• The inside compartment – there’s a zippered compartment on the inside of the front flap. That’s where Coco Chanel hid her love letters (from her lover at the time).
• The backside – there’s a back outside flap on the handbag – that’s where Mademoiselle Chanel stashed extra money.
• The shoulder strap – as I said before, Coco Chanel grew up in an convent, at the orphanage. The caretakers hold the keys at their waist dangling from the same type of chains as the 2.55 shoulder strap chains.
• The front lock – the 2.55 front lock is different from the classic double CC logo. Its logo is called “the Mademoiselle Lock” (because Coco Chanel was never married)
Since its introduction, there have been several variations of the original design including different colour leather/ fabric combinations, metal and interwoven leather straps and the lock, mademoiselle vs. interlocking CC.
Since Karl Lagerfeld’s takeover in the 1980’s, Chanel released an exact copy of the original 2.55 in February 2005 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the original. Though the name “Reissue 2.55” should apply only to those commemorative handbags it is now commonly used as a name for all the handbags resembling the original 2.55.
It’s easy to get cynical about fashion, especially when it’s an industry that you practically live in, but there’s just something about Chanel that feels special no matter what.The company’s aura is just about as intoxicating as branding can get. Chanel is often fantastical, and there’s still value in that when it comes to luxury.