Authenticity guaranteed. 30 Day hassle-free returns. FREE shipping on domestic orders. See holiday shipping schedule.
Authenticity guaranteed. 30 Day hassle-free returns. FREE shipping on domestic orders. See holiday shipping schedule.

    Chanel Information Guide

    Gently Used Chanel Handbags

    Chanel History

    One of the most iconic brands to this day, Chanel handbags are ones that will remain timeless favorites. From its classic quilted pattern, interlocking CC’s and iconic shapes, Chanel is a word that is synonymous with luxury and fine taste. In addition to luxury handbags, the House of Chanel is most known for the “Little Black Dress,” the classic Tweed Suit, and No. 5 Perfume. Founded in 1909, Chanel remains a privately owned company, founded by its namesake Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. Her first shop was at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris. 

    Chanel flap bag and boy bag

    Chanel Flap Bag History

    In February 1955, Coco Chanel introduced what would become the most widely recognizable handbag ever - double flap, with a mademoiselle closure and mademoiselle metal chain. Coco Chanel wanted her hands free and so she outfitted the bag with double chains that can easily be slung onto the shoulder or the crook of the arm. It became popularly known as the 2.55 flap bag. Over the years there have been many variations to the original 2.55 flap design: the use of leather interwoven through the chain, use of different leathers and fabrics, single flap vs. the original double flap, and different sizes available, etc. In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld joined the House of Chanel as Artistic Director. While Coco Chanel designed the original interlocking CC logo, it was Karl Lagerfeld who introduced the interlocking CC closure on the flaps. 

    Black Chanel Flap Bag

    Chanel Classic Flap

    The Chanel Classic Flap bag was originally created by Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and was re-designed in the 1980s by Karl Lagerfeld to include the now-iconic CC turnlock. These bags are referred to by Chanel as part of the “Timeless Classic” collection. 

    • This bag comes in six sizes: the Mini, New Mini, Small, Medium, Jumbo and Maxi. The Jumbo and Maxi sizes were briefly available in a Single Flap style, but are now only available in a Double Flap style. 

      All Chanel flap bag sizes

      Chanel Classic Flap size chartChanel Reissue size chart

    Chanel Reissue Flap

    The Chanel flap bag was updated and released in February 1955, hence the name “2.55.” Chanel released an exact copy of the original 2.55 in February 2005 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the original. 

    • Sizes: 224, 225, 226, 227 228 (now discontinued)
    Chanel Reissue Flap bag
     

    Classic Styles

    Chanel Classic Reference Chart

    Cerf Tote

    Released in 2005, this bag quickly became part of Chanel’s classic collection. The Cerf comes in four sizes; Small, Regular, Tall and XL

    Medallion

    Once a classic style, this lovely tote has now been discontinued. Most recognizable by its oversized CC medallion zipper pull.

    Shopping Totes (GST, PST, PTT)

    This is one of Chanel’s most popular classic styles that comes in a variety of sizes. Typically this bag is made in Caviar leather and comes in a variety of colors, most commonly though, in black and light beige. GST for Grand Shopping Tote, PST for Petite Shopping Tote, PTT for Petite Timeless Tote, and XL.

    Cambon Ligne

    Made from smooth calfskin leather with a bold CC logo at the side, this very popular style was first introduced in 2004-2005 and were immensely popular. The line has many different styles and color combinations. While most of this line is now discontinued, the Cambon style is still released in WOC bags and wallets.

    Boy Bags

    Karl Lagerfeld designed the Boy Collection as an interpretation of the boyish charm that Coco Chanel was known for. Karl was stated as saying that the very spirit of Chanel was inspired by Boy Capel, the love of her life; which is why this new collection is called the "Boy Chanel." Sizes: Small, Medium, New Medium and Large

    Timeless Clutch

    Also known as the ‘Kisslock’ clutch bag because of its CC frame closure. Typically this bag is only offered in Caviar and lambskin leather, however it is occasionally made with exotic python.

    Camera Case

    Though slightly elusive and hard to find - the Camera Case is released often as part of the classic collection. The camera case is released in various sizes and has evolved from being a small crossbody bag with the classic tassel pull closure.

    WOC

    One of the most popular styles, this wallet on a chain is constantly in creation using different styles and materials. The WOC is exactly what its name implies - the interior boasts several card slots, a zip pocket, and flat pockets, all on a chain strap. The chain can be tucked in or worn across the chest. Common Styles: Classic, Timeless, Boy, Half-Moon, Camellia, Cambon.

    Chanel WOC Guide

    Main Materials

    Chanel Caviar Leather

    Grained calfskin leather that is known for being very durable and holds its shape very well. Light scratches and blemishes don’t show up as easily on Caviar, which makes it a preference for everyday wear. 

    Chanel Caviar Leather Sample

    Chanel Lambskin Leather

    Known for being soft, luxurious, and supple; but is prone to showing scratches and blemishes. Lambskin is very fragile and will flatten over time.  

    Quilted Lambskin Leather sample

    Chanel Crinkled Calfskin

     Most commonly used for Reissue flaps, this leather has a pre-wrinkled look and is soft yet durable. 

    Chanel Crinkled Calfskin sample

    The Chanel Camellia Flower

    As with most of Chanel’s styles, Coco Chanel’s personal history is reflected in many of the styles and designs we see to this day. The camellia flower is said to be Coco Chanel’s favorite flower after receiving a bouquet of them from Boy Capel. She began pinning silk versions of it to the lapels of her jackets and in her hair. Chanel also features embossed leather with this pattern, featuring the CC logo inside the flowers. 

    Chanel Camellia Flower Sample

    Chanel Patent Leather

    Used for all classic styles, the patent leather is a glossy and beautiful. Patent leather can get transfer marks and are prone to wear marks such as fingerprints and scuffs if not properly taken care of.

    Chanel Patent Leather

    Hardware

    Chanel Chain Handles

    Inspired by the likeness of a soldier bag’s strap, over the years Chanel has introduced different kinds of chains on their bags all of which are iconic in their own right. The most popular and widely recognized are the leather entwined with chain that are on their classic flaps. It is said that these chains resemble those that were used by nuns as key holders at that time when Chanel was growing up in an orphanage. 

    Classic Chanel Chain Leather

    Chanel Classic Chain

    Chanel Reissue chain

    Chanel Reissue Chain

    Bijoux chain

    Now discontinued this chain was featured on classic flap bags and the reissue styles. Chanel produced the Bijoux chain in 2007 & 2008. These chains are wide-set chain links.

    Chanel Bijoux Chain

    Chanel Closures and Locks

    CC turnlock

    In 1983 when Karl Lagerfeld took over as head designer at Chanel, he introduced the CC turn-lock design to the classic flap bags.

    Chanel CC turnlock

    Mademoiselle turnlock

    In 2005, Karl Lagerfeld reissued Coco Chanel’s classic flap design in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the bag. This bag is now referred to as the ‘Reissue’ style and ‘Mademoiselle’ lock. The term “Mademoiselle Lock” is supposedly named after Coco never marrying.

    Chanel Reissue turnlock

    Boy logo closure

    Introduced in Fall/Winter 2011 by Karl Lagerfeld, this unique lock features the iconic CC logo with a unique-push clasp on each side. Karl was stated as saying that the very spirit of Chanel was inspired by Boy Capel, the love of her life; which is why the collection is called the "Boy Chanel." 

    Chanel boy lock

    Seasonal Styles

    Chanel has been a fixture on runway shows for the last several decades. With Karl Lagerfeld at the helm, runway shows feature fashion and handbags varying in style, inspiration, and color.  Seasonal styles of leather goods are released following each runway collection. We have compiled a list of some of the more common season styles and a visual chart with the name of the collection. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list.

    Recent Limited Edition Styles by Season:

    Lady Braid: 2005-2006

    Ultimate Soft: Introduced in 2005 but was released in 2006-2008

    Outdoor Ligne: 2006

    Luxe Ligne: 2006-2007

    Paris-Biarritz: Released in 2006-2011 in limited quanities

    Portobello: Released in 2008

    Modern Chain: 2008

    Hampton CC: First released in Fall 2011, re-released in Spring 2013

    Ultra Stitch: Released in 2011

    French Riviera: Released in 2011; re-released 2012

    On-the-Road: Fall 2011

    Chain Around: Spring 2011

    Crossing Times: Released in Fall/Winter 2013

    Retro Chain: Spring 2011

    Takeaway: Released in 2011

    In the Business: Released in 2011

    New Bubble: Released Fall/Winter 2012

    Chic Caviar: 2012

    Lady Pearly: Released in Fall 2012

    Shiva: Released  Pre Fall 2012

    Perfect Edge: Released in Fall 2012

    Country Chic: Released in 2012

    Simply CC: Released in 2012

    Coco Pleats: Released Fall/Winter 2012 

    In-the-Mix: Released in Spring 2012

    CC Lock Bag: Pre-Fall 2012

    Coco Pleats: 2012

    Midnight Stones Clutch: 2012

    Chic Quilt: 2013

    Up in the Air: Released Spring 2013

    Deauville: Released in 2013

    Thin City: Released in Spring 2013

    Hula Hoop: S/S Runway 2013

    Chic With Me: Released in 2013

    Easy: Released in in S/S 2013, re-released in Cruise 2014

    Soft Elegance: Pre Fall 2013

    Castle Rock: Released Pre Fall 2013

    Coco Twin: 2013

    Coco Sporran: Fall 2013 Paris/Edinburgh collection

    Globe Trotter: Fall 2013

    Fresh Air: Spring/Summer 2013

    CC Crown: Spring/Summer 2013

    Boy Reverso: Fall/Winter 2013

    Stitch It Bag: 2013

    Shopping Fever Tote: Released in Pre-Spring 2014

    Retro Class: Released 2014

    Duo Flap: Released in Pre-Fall 2014

    Golden Class: 2014

    Coco Boy Bag: Cruise 2015

    Girl Bag: Spring 2015

    Seasonal Style Reference Chart:

    Chanel reference chart


    More About Chanel

    Chanel Authentication Guide & Date Codes

    Shop Now

    Chanel Handbags

    Chanel Accessories

    Chanel Clothing

    Chanel Jewelry

    All Chanel Items