Photo: Gray Reginald, WWD, July 24, 1973
It's no secret that I adore Chanel and I'm very fortunate to have a few bags in my collection (handbags are my thing). Today I thought I'd go into the history of the ultimate handbag: the classic flap or Chanel 2.55.
The bag was first dreamed up by Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel in the early 1920s when she became tired of having to carry her bag in her hands. She took inspiration from soldiers' packs and incorporated an extended strap into her own carryall. After World War II she went about launching the bag and in February 1955 (hence the name 2.55) the quilted bag with a long chain strap was born.
What makes this bag a classic is its versatility. It works just as well with jeans as it does with a really formal outfit and whilst the design has evolved over the years, its effect has remained the same.
The purse blog has a great guide about the classic flap which I highly recommend reading if you're thinking of saving up for one. There are so many different variations these days so it's useful to know about the different leathers and colours available before you go to buy. You can read it here (a little tip from me - calfskin is a much harder wearing leather than lambskin, I have bags in both leathers and if you're looking for a bag to use regularly then calfskin is the way to go).