As one of the top luxury brands that we evaluate, buy, and sell at Love Luxury, we like to consider ourselves experts in the diverse and wide-ranging collection of Chanel bags. Whether it’s a timeless classic, a vintage model, or a limited-edition creation, Chanel consistently drives high demand – balancing this high demand with limited stock, with high-quality material finishes, and with the kind of reputation that only serves to buoy this already popular brand.
Of course, the beauty of such a reputation is that every bag produced by the team at Chanel is instantly considered a sellout and a success on the retail and second-hand market. This includes the various limited-edition Chanel bags that have hit the market since the brand was first founded in 1909 – with this article giving us an unmissable opportunity to share some of our personal favourites.
But first, to understand the power of the Chanel brand on the market and how it has managed to curate so many enviable and sought-after celebrity and iconic designer collaborations, you need to know a little more about Chanel as a luxury brand.
How Chanel Became the Luxury Powerhouse It Is Today
Since the fashion house’s first day as an established brand, Chanel has created products that deliver on market demands and consumer needs. Starting life as a millinery, Chanel’s founder Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel navigated a desire to break free of the fashion moulds and barriers – something that you see time and time again in her designs and style concepts for women in particular.
The Little Black Dress, the Chanel suit, Chanel No.5 perfume, and of course the Chanel 2.55 handbag are all examples of the designer’s passion for simple, elegant, and innovative style. Chanel believed that simplicity was the hallmark of true elegance, and that in order for an accessory or outfit to be truly timeless, it needed to bridge functional purpose with style.
Famously, Chanel only designed things which she herself would wear, with the most iconic Chanel bag in history – the 2.55, which later became the Chanel Flap bag – a prime example of the designer’s own desire for a bag that could be worn over the shoulder, leaving her free to use both hands.
The more Chanel did to revolutionise the brand, the more designers wanted to work with the brand – with the addition of Karl Lagerfeld to the mix in Chanel’s more recent history, breathing life into the brand as both timeless and incredibly modern. Diversity has allowed Chanel to create new partnerships, culminating in some of the limited-edition bags that are identified below, and which continue to garner attention on the second-hand market whenever we see some of them enter our store.
The Best Limited-Edition Chanel Bags on the Market
Rocket Ship Evening Bag
This 2017 Chanel bag is a great place to start, because it was designed for the runway, and captures the very passion for creative and playful designs that made Karl Lagerfeld’s work with Chanel such a huge success. Often creating unique models and releasing them in very limited numbers, these pieces which display some of the hallmarks of a Chanel bag but in a new and unexpected way can fetch huge prices at auction and on the resale market – and are considered some of the most sought-after and rare models available.
Chanel Hula Hoop Bag
Another bag that sits near the top of any list of rare Chanel bags, and one which was made to stand out and make a statement on the runway, the Chanel Hula Hoop bag boasts an almost comical blueprint in terms of its design.
What’s interesting about this bag, and which demonstrates Karl Lagerfeld’s intense desire to celebrate and continue to honour the style contributions of Coco Chanel herself, is that the unique structure is modelled on the basic concept of the Chanel Flap bag – formerly the 2.55 bag. While the runway showcased the oversized model, everyday buyers could access a smaller version upon the bag’s release in 2013 – creating a rush for the new and unique take on the classic flap bag.
Chanel Conch Shell Clutch
Created in the year of ocean-inspired décor, 2012, this clutch bag takes the form of a large conch shell, and is made entirely from plexiglass – a material which Lagerfeld was keen on using in order to bring his more unique visions to life.
As a limited-edition Chanel bag, this Conch shell clutch is not often seen on the second-hand market, but always turns heads and creates a buzz when one becomes available.
Chanel Supermarket Basket Bag
If there was ever a bag to take to the supermarket, it’s this one. Designed to mimic the shape and structure of a classic shopping basket, this Chanel bag uses the same woven chain aesthetic that makes up the strap of the Chanel Flap or 2.55 bag, but with a more rigid structure to hold it in the shape of a basket.
A fun and experimental take on Coco Chanel’s desire to always infuse the practical with the stylish and innovative.
Chanel Kelly Bag
This bag is not so much a limited-edition bag for its unique, weird, and wonderful design – but rather because it is one of the discontinued collections that was first inspired by Grace Kelly’s love of the Chanel brand. The bag is incredibly simple, and was made available in a range of sizes – designed to unite convenience with impeccable style.
Is a Limited-Edition Chanel Bag Worth the Investment?
The limited nature of virtually every authentic Chanel handbag model and collection means that any authentic piece is sure to collect some interest on the resale market – often pushing investments higher than the original purchase price, provided they boast excellent quality and all the authenticity certification required.
If you’re interested in buying a Chanel bag, finding a reputable seller with access to both limited-edition bags and the standard, timeless classics will help to ensure you pick up the right model for you. Whichever bag you end up with, remember that every single Chanel bag is dedicated to the forward-thinking revolutionary behind both the brand name and its reputation.