After the success of her debut store, “Chanel Modes”, specializing in hats at the now infamous 21 rue Cambon storefront in Paris, Coco Chanel decided to expand her business. Just three years later, in 1913, she opened a fashion boutique on rue Gontaut-Biron. Unlike her shop on rue Cambon in the heart of a Parisian city-center, this new boutique was located in an elegant resort destination along Normandy’s Côte Fleurie, called Deauville.
Introduced as part of Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection, the Deauville tote was quickly recognized as a chic, yet simple staple silhouette for the brand. Expanding the Deauville’s offerings to quickly meet the increasing demands of interested clients, Chanel incorporated different materials, hardwares, sizes, and even seasonal twists exclusive to each new collection; such as the Large Black Canvas Mixed Fibers Deauville with black faux-pearl embellishments that was included in their Spring/Summer 2020 collection.
Paying homage to a special piece of Coco Chanel’s history, some of the earlier Deauville styles featured the instantly recognizable interlocking CC logo at front with “31 RUE CAMBON PARIS '' modestly included just below. Although her original boutique was located at 21 rue Cambon, Chanel’s success during the 1920s allowed her to grow her Paris location into the neighboring buildings, namely 31 rue Cambon. Since its release in 2012, the fashion house has reimagined the visible branding on some Deauville styles with a more minimalist take. While some proudly boast the iconic address, others feature a smaller brand trifecta: the name CHANEL, the CC logo, and PARIS displayed at the front of the bag.
Solidifying itself as a true Chanel staple that will continue to grow and evolve with the brand, the jacquard Deauville was originally priced more modestly at $2600 USD when first introduced in 2012. Today, that's risen, along with all other Chanel styles, especially with newer fabrications demanding a much larger piece of your pocket. Most recently, as part of their Fall/Winter 2022/2023 Pre-Collection, under the leadership of Creative Director Virginie Viard, two behemoths have landed on the current retail shelves. The sleek debossed metallic gold calfskin version comes new for $7450 CAD, while the playfully pink shearling and lambskin interpretation will run shoppers $9300 CAD.
While it is worth noting that the materials for those models in particular differ quite a bit from the original simple jacquard, much like the classic flap bags’ evolution, the Deauville is still available in its initial and traditionally less extravagant materials, including jacquard denim or mixed fibers; but it also continues to be recreated based on contemporary trends as collectible limited edition designs.
Designed with functionality and adaptability in mind, the Deauville is extremely spacious, equipped with compartmentalized pockets and a lobster clasp attachment inside - perfect for hooking onto keys or a small pouch for an added measure of organization. Now offered in a number of materials, like the aforementioned calfskin and shearling styles, the Deauville has seamlessly transitioned from its original purpose as a beach bag for affluent women along the Normandy coast to a fan favorite everyday carry-all for both men and women in the know. It’s no wonder the Deauville is now a multi-generational Chanel cult-classic.
With the needs and demands of their clientele constantly changing, they have introduced smaller sizes over the years, and even a larger Maxi size. Regardless, all of the Deauville totes are all substantially roomy and practical enough for everyday essentials. Adding some versatility and dimension, most models feature both top handles, and the quintessentially Chanel leather-chain woven shoulder straps; although there are some styles that only come with the leather-chain woven shoulder straps.
Adding to the list of pros, including its more incognito branding, subtle colorways, and inherent unisex urbanity, the Deauville has also become a go-to bag for travelers given the durable fabric lining and easily accessible, yet secure, magnetic snap closure. In typical Chanel fashion, every last detail is considered and perfected - down to the “31 rue Cambon” engraving on the grommets and the crisp heat stamp logo found inside each bag.
Like its namesake, the Deauville tote is a highly sought-after chic and sporty exclusivity that few will have the pleasure of experiencing. Think the authentic Chanel Deauville is your next handbag? Shop today!