THE CHANEL CLASSIC FLAP BAG
In 1909, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel began her namesake brand by making and selling hats in Paris. After 11 years of millinery, she began experimenting with and selling apparel and other accessories. In the 1930s, Coco Chanel introduced the first handbag. At this time, bags were always held in the wearers hands, but Coco Chanel found this cumbersome and was determined to create a bag that allowed its wearers to be hands free. Thus, the birth of the 2.55 bag in February of 1955. The 2.55 shoulder bag was the first of its kind, and soon became the norm.
Coco Chanel was deliberate when it came to all aspects of the design of the bag. It features a secret zippered compartment under the top flap, and it is thought that Coco Chanel included this in the design as a place to hide her love letters to the men she was having affairs with. Additionally, the burgundy leather on the interior of the bag is an homage to the uniforms worn at the orphanage she was raised in.
It was not until the 1980s, when Karl Lagerfeld was the creative director at Chanel, when the Classic Flap Bag as we know it today was introduced. Karl’s take on Coco Chanel’s iconic bag featured the signature CC lock, as opposed to the Mademoiselle lock that was featured on the original design. Lagerfeld also reimagined the bag by adding a woven leather chain strap — Coco Chanel’s original design featured a shoulder strap that was only chain.
The bag originally came in only diamond quilt with plated 24-carat gold hardware. Today, the bag is available in a variety of finishes. Diamond or chevron quilt; calfskin, caviar, lambskin, lizard, crocodile, alligator, or ostrich leathers; silver, gold, light gold, or So Black hardware. There is truly a Chanel bag for everyone.
We have rounded up a few of our Classic Flap Bags that are available for purchase, as well as a couple other iconic Chanel pieces.