In February 1955 Coco Chanel introduced a handbag that was destined to become the iconic bag know as the 2.55. The bag was designed with a double flap (one on the interior beneath the exterior flap) and featured a mademoiselle (rectangular) closure and an all metal chain. The name 2.55 refers to February 1955 when the bag was first issued by Chanel For those who may be Chanel No. 5 perfume lovers, the No. 5 was simply the 5th sample tube that Coco Chanel tested. Simplicity at its finest!
Some of the interesting details behind the design of the 2.55 are as follows though it difficult to be certain which are accurate and which are part of the Chanel legend. The lining of the original 2.55 was a brownish red color which purportedly represented the color of the uniforms at the Catholic orphanage where Coco grew up following her mother’s death and father’s departure. The inside compartment located beneath the outer flap is where Coco Chanel presumably hid her love letters. The shoulder strap is said to be designed after the chains on which the nun’s keys dangled at their waist of their habits. The turn lock was called the “the Mademoiselle Lock” presumably because Coco Chanel never married.
In 1983 Karl Lagerfeld joined the house of Chanel as Artistic Director / Chief Designer. Based on research it is believed that while Coco Chanel designed the original interlocking CC logo it was not often used in her designs rather it was Karl Lagerfeld who introduced the interlocking CC closure on the flaps handbags that are so popular today.
The term Classic Flap commonly refers to the flap with the interlocking CC logo turnstile closure, a chain with interwoven leather, and more rounded shape to the outer flap. The most immediately identifiable differences from the 2.55 are the chain, with the interwoven leather and the CC closure which to some has become the “classic” Chanel bag though it was issue decades later than the 2.55.
In February 2005 Karl Lagerfeld re-made the 2.55, exactly as Coco Chanel had made the original in 1955. This bag was called the Reissue 2.55 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the original. Technically the term Reissue should only be used for the bags that were made to commemorate the original – so only those produced in 2005. However, it has become popular to call all 2.55s that resemble the original 2.55 Reissues and all flaps that have the interlocking CCs, Classic Flaps.
The 2005 Commemorative Reissue was available in three colors (black w/gold hardware, grey w/silver hardware, and white w/silver hardware) and in (5) sizes. The sizes are commonly referred to as 224, 225, 226, 227, 228 and the numbers correspond to the last 3 numbers of the style code. As well, the higher the number, the larger the bag.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and both flap are timeless, classic pieces, heirloom worthy pieces. But in this authors opinion, a 2.55 is a must have item in every Chanel collector’s closet.
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Legendary design never falls out of fashion. A Chanel handbag epitomizes luxury, classic elegance and style. One cannot help but marvel at the gorgeous leathers and time-honored craftsmanship of an authentic handbag, whether it is a Kelly or Birkin, or appreciate the timeless aesthetic of a Chanel Classic Flap. These handbags have withstood the test of time and have garnered notoriety as the very finest in their class of luxury goods. Whether you have an enviable authentic Hermes or Chanel handbag to sell, or are a buyer who wishes to start a collection, we at Clochette are here to help.