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  • Lila Dekhi

History of the CHANEL 2.55 Handbag 🖤🤍

Written by Lila Dekhi

Chanel is one of those brands almost everyone has heard and knows about. When people think of fashion, Chanel probably pops into your mind without thinking. Honestly though, how can Chanel not be one of the first fashion brands you think of? It's so iconic and has been ruled by of course, designer/founder Coco Chanel, then Karl Lagerfeld, and now Virgine Viard. From the campaigns to the runways to the chic clothing, makeup, and perfume, Chanel will always be a classic. One of their most well-known products I'll be discussing about is the 2.55 Handbag and the history behind it. Enjoy! 🖤

The first Chanel bag was introduced in 1929 but was a hand-carried version. Fast forward a couple decades later, when Chanel had a great comeback to fashion in 1954, where Coco re-designed the bag by adding shoulder straps. Chanel made the choice to design a handbag with straps because she didn't want to continue carrying a bag in arms and once reportedly said, "I got fed up with holding my purses in my hands and losing them, so I added a strap and carried them over my shoulder." When creating them, Coco received inspiration from straps on soldiers' bags and added thin strips to her design. Little fun fact: Named it the 2.55 bag because it was created in February 1955. During the 50's, the 2.55 purse was one of the only luxury bags available since there weren't many high fashion houses selling handbags at the time. When it launched in 55', it was only priced at $220 compared to the thousands of dollars one of them costs today. At the time, it only came in 4 colors: navy, beige, black and brown.

Actress Mia Farrow carrying 2.55 Chanel Bag on the set of film Rosemary's Baby (1968)

There happens to be some really interesting features about the handbag with some personal details dedicated to Chanel's life. The bag made of quilted leather became the chosen material for 2.55 with a connection involved. It was used to honor Coco Chanel's love and passion for horseback riding. As a young girl, quilted fabrics were only worn by boys who would work in stables. Another fascinating feature was how the original 2.55s were lined in a burgundy shade, which represented the uniforms from Aubazine Abbey, the convent orphanage Chanel lived in from ages 11 to 18. The chains mentioned before were influenced by the the types of belts the nuns wore at the orphanage. The original was designed with a rectangular turn-lock before Karl Lagerfeld created the double C's logo in the 80's. The OG turn-lock was called the "Mademoiselle Lock." Legend has it that the lock earned its name from Coco Chanel never marrying. Last feature to mention was how the bag has a hidden pocket behind the front flap, where Chanel reportedly stored her love letters.

The 2.55 will always remain timeless and is still popular nearly 60 years later, worn by famous icons like Jackie O to Kate Moss. Pretty impressive if you ask me. I hope you liked this article and were able to learn something new.

Have a beautiful day!!

Xoxo LD 💋

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