When selecting a luxury handbag or designer accessory to invest in, owning a piece that tells a story is half the fun – especially when shopping in the Chanel collection. The Classic Chanel Flap Bag might be an innovation from Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980s, but it’s the bag from which it was born and inspired that really tells a story – and which connects the concept of the classic flap bag with the founder of Chanel herself: Gabrielle Coco Chanel.
When Karl Lagerfeld became the Creative Director for the Chanel brand, some of the changes that he made truly revolutionised the brand and gave it a new lease of life. The flap bag, which he innovated with the addition of a woven chain strap and the twisting double-C lock, already existed in the form of the Chanel 2.55 – and it’s this bag and its changes over the years that have become synonymous with the entire Chanel brand.
Why? Because it embodies not only the luxury design flair of the brand but also the revolutionary spirit of the founding designer, whose own desires and preferences brought shoulder bags, Little Black Dresses, and other innovative accessories and fashion trends to the market for buyers everywhere.
Here is a short history of the Classic Chanel Flap Bag, both as it was and as it is today, considering its popularity and why it remains such an excellent investment today.
History of the Classic Chanel Flap Bag
The Classic Chanel Flap Bag was born from an idea that Coco Chanel herself had, which saw women able to carry a bag without their hands – likening the design concept to the satchels worn by soldiers in the war. Launched in February 1955, the bag became known as the Chanel 2.55 (citing the month and year of release) and was widely recognised as the first shoulder bag for women.
The bag became known as the Classic Chanel Flap Bag later down the line in the 1980s, when Karl Lagerfeld redesigned the bag and breathed new life into its look and features. The original had utilised the quilted design and a long shoulder strap, though Lagerfeld is known to have created the twisting lock and double-C clasp, as well as the woven chain link strap.
This redesign is what is recognised today as the Classic Chanel Flap Bag, though much of its prominence lies in its history and the fact that this very handbag was once a revolutionary and innovative idea from Coco Chanel herself.
Features of the Classic Chanel Flap Bag
The design of the Classic Chanel Flap Bag has changed from its days as the 2.55 bag, with different aspects, including the clasp and strap as well as the overall shape and structure of the bag, being adapted as part of the 1980s’ redesign and relaunch into the market.
Today, buyers will find that the Classic Flap is available in both the standard Chanel designs and as part of a wide range of valuable collections and exclusive collaborations. Limited edition pieces are among the most coveted of all the Classic Chanel Flap bags, with very few pieces ever released, so as to retain interest among buyers across the style and investment markets.
The Classic Chanel Flap Bag, as it is on the market today, comes in six different sizes: four in the standard range and two mini versions of the bag – ensuring that there is something for every kind of buyer. In terms of the materials used, the most common are lambskin or a supple leather known as Caviar, with the quilted effect branching into Chevron patterns, and with a patented finish across more modern designs (although the diamond quilting remains the standard).
Why the Classic Chanel Is So Popular
You only have to look at the history of the Classic Chanel bag to see that the silhouette and overall design concept have remained true to Coco Chanel’s own design. The quilted exterior, for example, was inspired by men’s padded jackets, while the inclusion of different pockets and concealed zipped compartments was added by Chanel herself as a place to store her most intimate possessions (in this case, love letters from affairs she was having).
Chanel was also responsible for adding the burgundy interior lining, which remains a standard across many of the Classic Chanel bags, while the use of the flap helped to create the streamlined silhouette that takes this bag from day to night with ease.
Chanel as an Investment
When looking at the investment potential of the Chanel brand, specifically the Classic Chanel Flap Bag, it’s important to recognise first and foremost the effect that Chanel had on the fashion world, and the incredible history of the Flap Bag alone in terms of innovation and design flair. A brand and product with such a poignant history is always going to enjoy a mass following, with the coveted status of each and every bag further enhanced by the simple fact that there are not enough to go around.
Karl Lagerfeld and subsequent designers and brand directors at Chanel have continued to launch and release collections with limited supply, ensuring that the demand is never met and that the value of each and every piece is elevated to its limit. This, combined with the exceptionally high quality of each bag and its connection to fashion history, makes Chanel and its handbags an excellent investment opportunity.
If you’re seeking a classic handbag to invest in, a modern Classic Chanel Flap Bag or a vintage Chanel 2.55 are both excellent and secure options in terms of long-term value and timeless style. Owning your own Chanel Flap Bag means owning a piece of the brand’s history, acknowledging the impact that Coco Chanel herself had on the world of luxury accessories with the injection of modern functional design, as incited by Karl Lagerfeld at a later date.
Here at Love Luxury, we have a range of Chanel handbags in stock in our boutique stores, both in London and in Dubai, as we buy authentic luxury designer bags from sellers around the world. Head to one of our stores or visit our website for more information and to browse the collection.