Chanel is a truly unique fashion house, typified by the fact its handbag heritage is as central and significant to the brand as its haute couture and ready-to-wear clothing range.
At the heart of this division is Chanel’s 2.55 bag. Very few fashion accessories stand the test of time and remain an iconic, must-have years after its initial release - the 2.55 (later re-invented as the Classic Flap bag by Karl Lagerfeld) however, is an exception to the rule; perennially increasing in both its price and popularity.
To make your decision of whether or not to buy Chanel’s most famed handbag easier; we’ve compiled a few need-to-know points which should tell you all you need to know about the 2.55 and the Classic Flap bag.
2.55 vs Classic Flap
The key difference between the two variations of the classic model is the presence of the iconic double-C lock closure on the front flap of the bag. This particular feature debuted in Karl Lagerfeld’s adaption of the 2.55, in what was termed the Classic Flap bag.
The original model of the bag, created by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel in 1929, harbours the more subtle and discreet ‘Mademoiselle’ lock - bearing no such interlocking CC logo.
50 years on from Coco’s release of the 2.55, Lagerfeld commemorated its launch with a reissue of the exact model.
Double flap vs Single flap
Historically, all 2.55’s were made with the signature double-flap closure - one closing the exterior of the bag, the other closing the interior hidden underneath. Its also commonly rumoured the purpose of the outer flap and its hidden zip was to stash Coco’s love letters.
The Classic Flap, on the other hand, donned both the double and single-flap enclosure styles - with the latter style thought to be discontinued in recent years.
Two styles. Hundreds of Variations.
Given the immense popularity and subsequent demand for Coco’s handbag icon, Chanel have catered to almost every fashionista worldwide by recreating the famous design using an array of materials as the base of the bag.
Aside from the signature Calfskin, Lambskin and Caviar-leather variations of the Classic Flap and 2.55, the traditional bag has been masterfully adapted using Tweed, Canvas, Sheepskin and even Velvet!
One feature which tends not to change as often, however, is the quilted diamond-cut stitching across the entire exterior of the bag - this is said to be inspired by Coco’s desire to create a sounder structure which had greater volume than the average bag.
Not only is it the primary material of the bag which has often varied - Chanel have often explored an eclectic range of materials and finishes applied to the hardware, including gold, silver, matte and ruthenium metal.
A size for everyone.
Both styles can be found in quite a number of sizes - the most popular and commonly seen being the Maxi, Jumbo, Medium, Small, Mini-square, Mini-rectangular and Extra-mini.
A safer investment than property?
Research by industry-experts has revealed that Chanel bags tend to hold their value very well (especially when treated with love and care) - in fact, some have even gone to the extent of comparing the purchase of the Classic Flap to investing in property. Statistics demonstrate the average price of Chanel’s icon increasing by over 65% since 2010 - in turn, increasing the resale price of pre-loved bags on the second-hand marketplace.
The thrill is in the chase!
The waiting lists for a Chanel bag may not be as infamous as those experienced in relation to a Hermès Birkin, yet many of you will already know that getting your hands on your dream 2.55 or flap bag will take its time.
Demand has long outstripped supply when it comes to Chanel handbags - as such, the market for pre-loved Chanel bags and accessories has grown considerably over the years.
Luckily, here at Bagista, we strive to find the best examples of pre-loved Chanel bags to help make your search a little easier!