Since its establishment in 1910, Chanel, the renowned French luxury brand, has introduced numerous fashion pieces over the years.
From ready-to-wear clothes and shoes to jewelry, perfumes, and bags, the brand never fails to maintain its symbol of elegance and stay at the forefront of timeless trends.
Out of all Chanel’s many fashion pieces, there is no doubt that its most renowned timeless masterpieces are its bags. Whether it is a tote, evening clutch, or backpack, each one is an excellent definition of a classic.
This is one of the main reasons why both brand new and pre-owned Chanel bags remain highly sought-after year after year.
Chanel’s Timeless Bags
If you are wondering which of Chanel’s bags have left a mark in the fashion world in all its years of existence, below are the seven pieces that remain timeless classics and are still considered must-haves for any classy, fashion-forward lady, and some bits of information about them:
1. Chanel 2.55
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel designed and created her first classic, iconic bag in February 1955, hence its name 2.55.
The Chanel 2.55 was the first ladies’ bag that came with a shoulder strap. It created quite a stir back then since most accessories of this type were designed with the impractical constraints of the clutch.
Some even considered its avant-garde style as rebellious, but women were captivated by the practicality it provided.
The 2.55 was packed with well-thought-out practical details. It has a hidden zip pocket and back slip pocket ideal for cash. Its central compartment is perfectly shaped for lipstick.
The bag also has a chain strap that could be doubled up and slung from the shoulder.
Additionally, this bag marked the introduction of the two enduring Chanel signatures: the interior’s deep burgundy hue and the diamond-stitched quilting.
2. Chanel Classic
Since the 2.55 was the brand’s first iconic bag, it made sense that it would undergo reinventions. It went through one under Karl Lagerfeld in 1980.
Karl Lagerfeld’s update on the 2.55 paved the way for the Chanel Classic or 11.12 bag. His design stayed true to the 2.55’s original form while giving it a luxurious flair prevalent in the ‘80s.
The bag’s most well-known and welcomed update, though, came in the form of a new latch: the iconic double C lock logo.
Like its predecessor, the 11.12 is already included in the annals of the most coveted, timeless fashion pieces.
In 2005, Karl Lagerfeld also designed a reissue of the 2.55 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the bag's original release date.
The reissue is bigger than the 2.55 but retained the bag’s original design and features.
3. Chanel Diana Bag
The late Princess Diana was one of the renowned fashion icons of the 20th century. As such, Karl Lagerfeld deemed it right to pay homage to the Princess of Wales by designing and naming a bag after her.
The Diana is a structured shoulder flap bag introduced by Chanel in 1989. It was sold throughout the 1990s before it was discontinued in the early 2000s.
Although the vintage versions are known as the “Diana” in memory of the late Princess of Wales, Chanel reissued it in 2015 under a slightly altered style, which they named the “Vintage Chic Flap.”
If you want to add another Princess Diana-inspired fashion piece to your collection, you won’t go wrong with this bag.
4. Chanel Grand Shopping Tote
The Chanel Grand Shopping Tote or GST is one of the most iconic, luxurious handbag designs released in 2004.
It is also one of the roomiest and most coveted styles in the brand's handbag history.
The classic Chanel GST was produced using Caviar leather. It features a boxy shape with the iconic double C logo stitched on the front and interwoven leather and chain straps.
Although it looks stylish, the Chanel GST is still practical. It makes for a great travel bag that you can bring to your Mediterranean or Caribbean holidays.
Because of these reasons, many fashion enthusiasts were heartbroken when the brand discontinued production of the bag in 2015.
However, this bag is still one of the most in-demand styles on the pre-owned market. If you happen to spot one in a vintage or pre-loved Chanel store, don’t hesitate to make it yours.
5. Chanel Cambon Ligne Tote
The Cambon Collection, which was released in 2004, was undoubtedly one of the most popular collections Chanel released.
One of the most sought-after pieces in this collection was the Chanel Cambon Ligne Tote.
The iconic leather bag is made of quilted leather and features a bold black patent leather double C logo and silver-colored hardware. It has a roomy interior with bright pink lining and two-zippered pockets, a cell phone pocket, and two pen holders.
The bag came in several color variations and styles. But its most popular variety was the black-on-pink variation.
However, due to the bag’s extreme popularity, it became one of the brand’s most counterfeited items. Because of this, it was discontinued in 2012.
6. Chanel Boy
One of the most iconic bags launched by Karl Lagerfeld was a tribute to Coco Chanel’s first love, Boy Capel, an English polo player.
The Chanel Boy bag was released in 2011. It has a more masculine aesthetic than the 2.55, with an androgynous feel that is more laidback than the brand’s other bags.
With its contemporary silhouette, the Chanel Boy is more versatile than the 2.55. As such, it is easier to dress up or down.
Chanel also recreated the Boy bag every season. Because of this, you will have more options to choose from in terms of size and color.
7. Chanel's Gabrielle Bag
The Gabrielle bag, which was released in 2017, was designed by Karl Lagerfeld and embodied the name and spirit of Gabrielle Chanel.
Chanel introduced the bag as a unisex accessory. It has a long strap and supple leather body that allows for a satisfying slouch when swung from one arm. However, its rigid, molded base makes it easy for you to locate even your smallest possessions at the bottom.
The Gabrielle bag is fastened with a zip and finished with the brand’s double C logo.
At present, the Gabrielle bag is a favorite among young fashionistas.
Chanel’s handbags have a fascinating history. With the various designs and types released since 1955, you won’t have any difficulties finding a valuable piece to add to your collection and elevate your status as a true-blue fashion icon.