The D/V Blog

// Published Feb 23 2017

History of 2.55 Chanel Bag

Chanel 2.55 Bag

While Chanel started her brand in 1909, she did not make her first handbag until 1929. At that time, shoulder bags were non-existent. Can you imagine, living in a clutch only world? I certainly cannot, my woc is practically glued to my hip. 1929, marked the first handbag by Chanel herself alas, more so a clutch, this design would be set to change the course of fashion history for generations to come. It wasn’t until February 1955, until Ms. Coco Chanel debuted her first ever, shoulder bag. Ironically referred to as the “2.55 flap bag” as it was created in February of 1955. Not only did this handbag design change the course of fashion history, it was also the first time it was acceptable for women of society to be seen carrying shoulder bags. Coco Chanel had turned a corner on the fashion landscape that would be forever changed and so the 2.55 flap bag was born.  Aside from the beauty of the bag, many people don’t realize each detail in the bag designed by Coco Chanel had a purpose, a memory or a reason for its existence.


Here’s 8 interesting facts about the history of the Chanel 2.55 flap bag:

 1. The interior lining’s burgundy color represents the color of the uniforms in the orphanage where Gabrielle grew up.

Chanel 2.55 Bag


2. The zippered compartment inside the front flap was used to store her love letters, as when she was making this bag she was having a very torrid affair.

Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag


3. The backside of the bag has an envelope where Gabrielle would store her cash.

Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag

4. When Chanel realized that the modern women would need a shoulder bag, she utilized a double-chain shoulder strap.

Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag


5. The only reason leather began being used for straps on the handles is for the simple fact that metal was scare in the 1920’s-1930’s.  Today, most all 2.55 flap’s use the traditional Chanel chain while, classic flaps use the more modern chain with leather interwoven.

Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag

6. The leather interwoven chain was inspired by the caretakers at the orphanage as they would hold keys at their waist dangling below.


Chanel Interior 2.55 Flap Bag

7. The bag’s lock mechanism is commonly referred to the ‘mademoiselle’ lock in reference to Coco Chanel never marrying.

Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag

8. All 2.55 flap bags are adorned with diamond or herringbone pattern on the exterior which has been noted to be an inspiration from jockeys riding coats, stained glass windows of the abbey at Aubazine as well as the cushion’s in Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment.

Chanel Bag



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