Chanel Bag 2.55: The Chanel Timeless Manifesto In 2022

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Chanel Bag 2.55: The Chanel Timeless Manifesto In 2022

February 1955 : the chanel bag 2.55 signs the return to grace of Coco Chanel. This is the story of a bag that has become more than an icon. A classic that is set to become the most mythical of bags!

Chanel Bag 2.55: A Classic That Freed Women’s Hands

The Chanel 2.55 bag, in its classic size, in black leather, quilted, with its mythical chain shoulder strap, was born in February 1955. And it is, once again, a doubly symbolic date for the House of Chanel. Coco Chanel is known for her interest in signs and her belief in numbers. After making the lion her totem animal, Chanel made the number 5 her totemic number.

In 1954, while Coco Chanel had been in exile in Switzerland for fifteen years, the most revolutionary couturier of the 20th century returned to her first obsession: liberating women. Free pace, hands in pockets… If Mademoiselle Chanel liked to say “there is no other beauty than the freedom of the body”, she was right. The couturier behind the timeless allure of an era is going to rely on a quilted leather bag, to reify her wish!

With the 2.55 bag, Gabrielle Chanel freed women’s hands to make their lives easier… Inventing, too, a new attitude!

It was her boredom of having to carry her bag in her hand that led Chanel to the idea of the 2.55 bag in leather, quilted and with a chain shoulder strap – the shoulder strap being a real revolution in itself. The chain, in turn, had already accompanied Chanel’s style revolution – woven from leather and metal, the chain echoes the one the couturier added to the bottom of her little black jackets to give them a perfect fit.

Bored of carrying a bag in her hand because… at a time when Gabrielle Chanel and other women are obliged by codes of rank to hold the pouch that serves as their bag in their right hand, while they misplace more than one at various theatre performances or events – Coco decides she has had enough on behalf of all.

The 2.55 was thus imagined by Coco Chanel from the way she herself liked to wear her binoculars on the racetrack… This golden chain simply braided with leather allowed women to use their hands for something else entirely.

And there’s more… Inside the bag, the rounded pocket is nicknamed “Mona Lisa’s smile”; on the back of the outer flap, a small zipped pocket can be seen. Nicknamed “the secret”, legend has it that it was used by Gabrielle Chanel to hide her love letters, thus protecting money and soft notes in the heart of a classic black bag, logically cut to accommodate a lipstick case.

The whole thing is sealed with a rectangular clasp called the “Mademoiselle clasp”. Immediately, the 2.55 created a break with the other bags and initiated a new approach.

If it has become a component of the Chanel iconography, it is also because it takes up all the codes: first of all, there is black,the house’s favourite colour. Then there is the quilted fabric. Finally, a sophisticated texture, a sensual approach to materials that has always suited the designer.

The Chanel Bag Today

The 2.55 leather bag is undoubtedly one of, if not the most recognisable bag in history. Originally, Gabrielle imagined the 2.55 in three models but in one size: in lambskin for daytime, and two more luxurious ones, one in silk satin and one in jersey, for the evening. It has remained virtually unchanged since its creation, except when, in the 1980s, it took on the double C for clasp under the leadership of Karl Lagerfeld…

Each season, the current director Virginie Viard continues Karl Lagerfeld’s work and offers variations in size, style and genre around the classic Chanel 2.55 bag. In leather, quilted, denim, feathers, micro, mini or jumbo size… Vintage versions of the 2.55 bag sometimes fetch sky-high prices. And that’s how you recognize a masterful fashion icon!

Today, it is only available in Chanel boutiques worldwide, except for the vintage models. The house still refuses to sell this great classic of French luxury through the internet. The bag of bags is available from a price of 7300€.