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What Is the Chanel Boy Bag and Why Do Celebs Love It?

It's the edgier take on the Flap Bag!
What Is the Chanel Boy Bag and Why Do Celebs Love It?
IMAGE instagram/ivanaalawi, iamhearte
It's the edgier take on the Flap Bag!

Luxury fashion houses, especially those that have been around for ages, have that hypnotizing effect whenever they release something—anything, really. People can’t help it. Consumers have long been used to express “oohs” and “aahs” whenever anything designer comes out. But there are pieces from such storied fashion houses, that when taken objectively, truly do deserve the wonder and amazement. Not because of the hype but because of the ingenuity.

One such case is the Chanel Boy Bag, which has only been around since 2011 but has already quickly been touted as a new classic from the French label. Sure, it features that drool-worthy CC-logo, but the design strikes the perfect balance between the old world and the new, while also straddling the lines between the feminine and the masculine. Very much in the spirit of Gabrielle Chanel herself. The Chanel Boy Bag is a favorite amongst celebrities and the entire fashion world for good reason. If you’re interested in copping a piece yourself, read on to find out more about it:

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What is the Chanel Boy Bag?

The Boy Bag was inspired by Arthur Capel, Gabrielle Chanel’s first love whom she was intensely inspired by throughout her life. He very much influenced the way she dressed, too. It’s this masculinity that’s expressed in the Boy Bag by way of its boxy silhouette, rigid structure, angular lines, and chunky chain strap. To punctuate it all is the lego brick lock with the CC-logo. What sets the Boy Bag apart from its predecessors (the Flap Bag and the 2.55), is its edgier, contemporary vibe that inarguably feels both youthful and timeless.

what is Chanel boy bag
PHOTO BY Instagram/chanel
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Who designed the Chanel Boy Bag?

Karl Lagerfeld designed the Boy Bag which was released in 2011. He was inspired by cartridge bags or the bags used by those who go shooting or hunting. Sporting or military uniform has always served as a point of inspiration for fashion, but Karl Lagerfeld was able to inject his signature decadent flair through the use of heavy hardware, various fabrics (not just leather!), and ornamentation. Throughout his tenure in Chanel, the late great designer constantly reinterpreted the Boy Bag, playing with different aesthetics that vary from grunge (studs and black leather) to romantic (pearls and tweed), or classic to contemporary.

What are the different kinds of Chanel Boy Bags?

The Boy Bag’s recognizable design is the top-stitched border surrounding a quilted center. There are versions where the quilted center features a chevron pattern, while some designs feature “reverso quilting”: a quilted border and an unquilted body. Lots of Boy Bags are released seasonally but the mainstays would be those made with calfskin, grained calfskin, or lambskin in solid colors, from neutrals to bright hues.

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For the hardware, most Boy Bags make use of gold-tone metal, silver-tone metal, or ruthenium-finish metal. There have been seasonal ones like rainbow metal, which were very in demand! What sets the Boy Bag apart from the Flap Bag and 2.55 is the gourmette chain strap attached to leather. The bag can be worn either on the shoulder or crossbody.

Sizes of the Chanel Boy Bag vary per season but the common ones are listed below:

1. Small Boy Handbag

With dimensions of 8 inches (length), 4.7 inches (height), and 3.3 inches (width), the Small Boy Handbag isn’t impractically teeny tiny. It’s the perfect size for cocktail hours, weekend brunches, or special occasions that require nothing but the essentials.

 

what is Chanel boy bag
PHOTO BY CHANEL
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Small Boy Handbag, $4900 (approximately P236,375), CHANEL, chanel.com

what is Chanel boy bag
The pink velvet on this Chanel Boy Bag lends an elegant touch
PHOTO BY CHANEL

 

what is Chanel boy bag
The tweed-like cotton center and black and gold combination are reminiscent of the flashy ‘90s
PHOTO BY CHANEL
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2. Boy Handbag

The regular size has dimensions of 9.8 inches (length), 5.9 inches (height), and 3.5 inches (width). It’s spacious enough for busy days but also not too bulky that you can still carry it around for casual affairs. Perhaps the most popular colorway is the black calfskin with ruthenium-finish metal, that’s edgy and cool yet sophisticated. There was even a “So Black” version with full-on black hardware that fans drool for in the resell market.   

 

what is Chanel boy bag
PHOTO BY CHANEL
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Boy Handbag, $5300 (approximately P255,670), CHANEL, chanel.com

what is Chanel boy bag
Chanel likes to experiment with various centers like the pleated denim one here
PHOTO BY CHANEL

 

what is Chanel boy bag
This yellow Boy Handbag with gold-tone hardware is bright and playful
PHOTO BY CHANEL
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3. Large Boy Handbag

The biggest Boy Handbag has dimensions of 10.9 inches, 6.8 inches, and 2.9 inches. It’s not oversized but it’s large enough to carry more than just the essentials, making it perfect for both work and travel. The crossbody strap makes it extra convenient!

what is Chanel boy bag
PHOTO BY CHANEL

Large Boy Handbag, $5600 (approximately P270,143), CHANEL, chanel.com

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How much is the Chanel Boy Bag?

The price of the Chanel Boy Bag varies according to the size and the material used. The Small Boy Bag starts at $4900, but seasonal ones can cost much higher. The regular sized Boy Bag starts at $5200 but can fetch more (or less) when materials other than leather are used. Lastly, the Large Boy Bag starts at $5600.

Why is the Chanel Boy Bag expensive?

Everyone knows how meticulous and tedious it is to make a designer handbag. But it’s another thing to actually witness this savoir-faire unfold. Chanel sometimes shares videos of how their products are made. The video below shows that a Boy Bag (like the 2.55 and Flap Bag) is cut, stitched, assembled by hand by the house’s skilled artisans. It’s amazing how even the top-stitching on the leather is also done from scratch using a sewing machine. It’s this expertise and fine quality that one pays for.

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Is the Chanel Boy Bag worth it?

Overall, the Chanel Boy Bag is all aces when it comes to functionality: It’s spacious and the shoulder-slash-crossbody strap is very convenient. So if you’re willing to splurge on this Chanel piece, it’s all a matter of design and choosing the color-material combo that would give you the most bang for your buck. For example, if you’re a minimalist, then the neutral colorways in calfskin or lambskin are for you. If your style is playful and eclectic, then the bold hues are for you. If you’re a maximalist, there are a lot of extravagant Boy Bags that are beaded or embroidered.

In a word though, the Chanel Boy Bag would be worth it because it’s a modern classic that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

How do celebrities wear the Chanel Boy Bag?

1. Liza Soberano toughens up a puff-sleeved dress with a black Chanel Boy Bag.

what is Chanel boy bag
PHOTO BY Instagram/lizasoberano
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2. Heart Evangelista looks every bit the posh Chanel girl in tweeds accented by her coral Boy Bag.

what is Chanel boy bag
PHOTO BY Instagram/iamhearte

3. White bags are like white sneakers—you can’t go wrong with them. Here, Blackpink’s Jennie adds a fresh touch to her travel outfit with a tall, white Boy Bag.

PHOTO BY Instagram/jennierubyjane
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4. Ivana Alawi toughens up her blue Boy Bag with a moto jacket.

PHOTO BY instagram/ivanaalawi

5. Chiara Ferragni is the modern sophisticate in a sleek black and white look accented by her silver-tone Boy Bag.

6. Olivia Culpo gives her smart casual outfit a grunge touch with her ruthenium-finish metal Boy Bag.

7. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley glams up a simple jeans outfit with a flashy gold Boy Bag.

8. Ashley Graham embraces her funky side with a gold-tone Boy Bag that brightened up her faux fur jacket.

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