Luxury, beauty, status – these are just a few of the many qualities we attribute to one of fashion’s top coveted bags. But what exactly makes the Chanel Classic Flap SO iconic? From the craftsmanship to torrid history that marks some of its subtle features, this bag serves as a story piece as much as it does a designer accessory.
Contrarily to popular belief, the Classic Flap isn’t the first hard hitter from the brand. While Coco Chanel began designing in 1910, her true handbag reign came in 1955 with the introduction of the famed shoulder bag – the Chanel 2.55. The Classic Flap didn’t enter the scene until much later when Karl Lagerfeld stepped in as Creative Director in the 1980s. In creating the Classic Flap, he updated the beloved shoulder bag with some silhouette adjustments, and the true distinctive marker - the CC turnlock closure, which replaced the Mademoiselle lock.
The Dirty Details
Borrowing from the 2.55, the Classic Flap contains a small zippered pocket just below the main flap. With barely enough room to store a grocery list, Chanel addicts have long since been confused as to its purpose. While today it’s considered to be little more than a charming detail, the pocket once served a vital function for its designer. At the time of its conception, Coco found herself submerged in a world of secrecy and romantic trysts, causing the need for a little place to stow away private love letters.
While seasonal variations will always come and go, there are a few consistencies to any Classic Chanel Flap Bag. The strap, for example, will always interweave both leather and chain. This now iconoclastic feature actually began due to the scarcity of resources back when Chanel bags were all designed with pure chain straps. Eventually, pulling out of a depression, the need was no longer there to produce the designer handbags with both materials. A true Classic Flap; however, will always homage to the brand’s roots by featuring both, while the 2.55 tells a further back story and will only feature chain.
Chanel Classic Flap Bags will always include the standard CC turnlock closure with the right C overlapping the left on top, and the left C overlapping the right on the bottom. If you’re shopping for a preloved Classic Chanel Flap Bag, you may even come across a little stamp (known as a hallmark) embedded on the CC closure for a bag with gold hardware. This signifies 24K gold plating, and should be featured on all authentic Chanel Flap Bags that predate 2008. After 2008, the gold plating was removed in favor of gold hardware that wears better over time.
What to Expect
In either double or single flap, this Chanel handbag is one that will take you very far. They are elegant enough to wear at night, transitional enough to wear casually during the day and come in a range of sizes to carry whatever you need. Offered today traditionally in supple lambskin or the more durable pebbled leather (known as Caviar), the Classic Flap can be purchased in a variety of seasonal colors, and occasionally in limited edition textures or textiles. Owing to its rich narrative and its timeless design, this bag is a true collector’s piece and a sound investment for any handbag lover!
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