For a bag to be called “classic” and “timeless” is a privilege. Sure, the word is thrown around lightly, but if one truly considers longevity, then there are only very few bags that deserve the title. Enter: Chanel’s Flap Bag. The instantly recognizable chain bag has been a staple piece for discerning fashionistas and a dream investment bag for wide-eyed enthusiasts. It’s loved by young and old. Its sophisticated, seemingly simple design has withstood the test of time—and people are still fervently loving it to this day. Below, we dive into what makes the Chanel Flap Bag a true icon:
What is the Chanel Flap Bag?
The Flap Bag is one of Chanel’s most famed designs, and it’s what one immediately thinks of when the words “Chanel bag” are mentioned. The quilted leather bag features a chain-woven strap and a flap that closes with a double-C clasp. Inside one will find the iconic burgundy-hued interior lining and the double flap. The twin chain straps can be lengthened for a long shoulder bag look.
Who designed the Chanel Flap Bag?
The late great Karl Lagerfeld designed the Flap Bag which he first released in 1983. It was inspired by Chanel’s 2.55 purse, which features the same make and mold—only the 2.55 has the rectangular clasp. The 2.55 was the first bag designed by Coco Chanel, who wanted to create a hands-free bag to make it easier for women to carry around. Thus, in 1955, the first-ever shoulder bag was born. Given the Flap Bag’s storied background, thanks to the 2.55, it can be said that the Flap is not only a work of art but a piece of fashion history as well.
What are the different kinds of Chanel Flap Bags?
The Flap Bag is reinterpreted every season, churning out fresh designs in unique materials (like denim and raffia), colorways, and ornamentation (like pearls and sequins). The designs also range from minimalist to maximalist, classic to trendy—but most of the time, the hardware is either gold-tone or silver-tone metal.
It can be difficult for one to choose from the bevy of options, but perhaps it’s best to start with knowing which sizes are available. The usual sizes are Mini, Small, Classic, Large, and Maxi.
1. Mini Flap Bag
The Mini Flap plays around dimensions of 7.8 inches (length), 4.7 inches (height), 2.3 inches (width). It’s a swell size for quaint get-togethers and fancy occasions in general that only require you to bring a phone and a lipstick. The classic design below comes in the go-to quilted lambskin and tweed.
Mini Flap Bag, $3800 (approximately P183,311), CHANEL, chanel.com
2. Small Flap Bag
Sure, Chanel’s buttery lambskin leather is a fail-safe choice, but nothing cuts close to grained calfskin, also known as caviar leather due to its pebbled appearance and luxurious feel. The Small Flap Bag has dimensions of 9 inches (length), 5.7 inches (height), and 2.3 inches (width), the perfect size for casual jaunts and relaxing weekends out.
Small Classic Handbag, $6200 (approximately P299,086), CHANEL, chanel.com
3. Classic Handbag
Everyone’s go-to size is, of course, the Classic Handbag, which has dimensions of 9.9 inches (length), 6 inches (height), and 2.5 inches (width). Everyone loves the black lambskin with gold-tone hardware but there are other exciting materials if you’re looking for a statement piece—from beaded marvels, sequined stunners, to preppy tweeds.
Classic Handbag, $6800 (approximately P328,030), CHANEL, chanel.com
4. Large Flap Bag
The Classic Handbag design is usually the most expensive (the one where the leather flap follows the shape of the CC-clasp). But there are also other versions, like the Large Flap below, built with the same exacting method but with a more relaxed quilted appearance. The Large size plays around dimensions of 12.1 inches (length), 7.8 inches (height), and 4.3 inches (width).
Large Flap Bag, $4800 (approximately P231,551), CHANEL, chanel.com
5. Maxi Classic Handbag
For those who are looking for a heavy dose of Chanel (or are just used to carrying around a lot of stuff), the Maxi size is for you. With dimensions of 12.9 inches (length), 9 inches (height), and 3.9 inches (width), it’s spacious enough to store work essentials on the daily or to tote during travels.
Maxi Classic Handbag, $8000 (approximately P385,918), CHANEL, chanel.com
How much is the Chanel Flap Bag?
The price of Chanel Flap Bags varies according to size and design. The Mini Flap Bag starts at around $3800, while the Small one starts at $3900. The Classic Handbag starts at $6800, with the Large fetching up to $7400. The Maxi can cost a whopping $8000. Again, such sizes can fetch for less (or even more) if a different, more seasonal material is used.
Why is the Chanel Flap Bag expensive?
In the designer bag world, Chanel is definitely on the pricier side, but it’s not without worth. Flap Bags are handcrafted and produced according to the brand’s exacting standards, plus quality leather and materials are used. Every single component is assembled by hand. Imagine, even the leather is hand-woven into the chain straps.
Is the Chanel Flap Bag worth it?
Having been in existence for almost four decades while retaining its highly coveted status, the Chanel Flap Bag is truly an icon worthy of the name “classic.” And style-wise, one cannot go wrong with something timeless. But one does have to think: Will I get to wear this often? Does this go with what I usually wear? Do I see myself wearing this years down the line? If you tick all the boxes (and you have the moolah to cop a piece!) then the Chanel Flap Bag is for you. It’s not just the reputation of the bag that matters but how one will actually put it to good use. (With those hefty price tags, it pays to be pragmatic.)