Its unique padding, braided shoulder strap, clasp… These are details that, over the decades, have become absolute hallmarks of recognition. Chameleon transcended each season by Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s classic bag has its love (and value) rating maintained at the top. We take a look at Collector Square, the expert site for second-hand luxury like those who exist at vestiairecollective.com/ for instance.
Of course, originally, there was the famous 2.55. A reference in the shape of a date of birth, decided by Gabrielle Chanel who, on a winter’s day, imagined this bag with its quilting that has become iconic, equipped with a shoulder strap as solid as it is elegant, perfectly integrated into the designer’s philosophy. For her, in fact, every object, every accessory, every piece of clothing, had to be as functional as it was aesthetic. With this mythical bag, Mademoiselle wanted to free women’s hands and give them greater freedom of movement. At the beginning of the 1980s, when Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel, he decided to enrich this famous heritage and to transcend each season what had become the classic bag par excellence.
But there is no question of changing the codes for that. Thus, the famous “diamond” quilting (inspired by the lads’ jackets on the racetracks that Gabrielle Chanel, a horse-riding enthusiast, used to frequent assiduously) has remained intact. The interior, designed as a two-tone double bag, has retained this burgundy shade modelled on the uniform worn by the designer at the Aubazine Abbey orphanage. The shoulder strap intertwining metal mesh and leather ribbon is intact. Only the clasp is distinct: from the rectangular version designed by Coco, Karl Lagerfeld has switched to a double C of gold, silver or ruthenium metal depending on the models. On these bases, the designer has devised dozens of versions: from lamb to woven tweed, from crocodile to denim, from velvet to aged calf, from maxi format called “jumbo” to mini, offers more or less rounded flaps.
Chanel’s classic, a true icon
A true icon, Chanel’s classic has incredible value also in the second life market. It even increased by 107% between 2010 and 2014, with its price (depending on the condition, colour and material) regularly reaching €2,000. The beige leather version has seen its price multiplied by 2.5 in four years. The next black and white leather models just behind (+100% for the first, +60% for the second). Today, we can see that the classic bag constitutes a quarter by volume and 38% by value of Chanel bags sold at auction.