The Brief History of House Chanel
This powerhouse fashion empire was founded by a woman, Gabrielle Coco Chanel who was orphaned at a very young age. By the age of 12 years old, Coco Chanel was left in the care of nuns where she learned how to sew and this skill was a proven successful tactic to secure her international legacy.
When Gabrielle Chanel first opened her shop in Paris in 1910, she first started selling hats. As she opened stores in Deauville and Biarritz, she added clothing in her stores. The colorful connotation regarding Chanel is that she used her lovers’ money to her business ventures but she never married.
Chanel is one of the very few luxury fashion institutions that became famous due to the way they promote different items. Chanel is not only known for their elegant handbags, but also their perfumes, clothing and accessories. In fact, Chanel gained international recognition because of the success of the Chanel No. 5 which was made famous by Marilyn Monroe. Chanel made a fortune with this perfume line and up until now, the Chanel No. 5 is still a crucial perfume in every woman’s boudoir.
When the 2.55 Chanel Bag was introduced, it created a scandal, as it was actually the first women’s bag that had a shoulder strap. It was such a rebellion from the traditional clutch; it offers freedom since the person wearing it can easily move around and the hands are not restricted.
Women welcomed this surprising change and ever since its launch, it became a powerful feminist icon that is still sought out by different people from all over the world. The Chanel 2.55 bag is definitely the signature item of the brand.
Karl Lagerfeld started designing for Chanel in 1978 and ultimately became its Creative Director in 1983. He took into heart to bring a modern legacy to the fashion house and this was seen in his iconic designs. Lagerfeld also designed the well-known interlocking CC logo as his homage to Coco Chanel.
Karl’s inventions took inspiration from things that are already available yet adding an extra modern style to it. A lot of people fell in love with his designs all throughout the years and the likes of Rihanna, Donatella Versace, Naomi Campbell, etc. were attracted to his designs that exhibit both high fashion complexity. Lagerfeld was a fashion icon who grew the Chanel brand after Coco, and the fashion industry remembers how he made an impact on House Chanel, Fendi, Chloe, Prada and his own signature brand.
The story of Gabrielle Chanel is fascinating, how she used her influence on her lovers to continue her business journeys yet never married. The Double-Flap Chanel Shoulder was actually said to be invented to have the ‘extra pocket’ for letters from the men in her life! Her sophisticated designs that use masculine colors to exude femininity became revolutionary. The brand she built and Lagerfeld continued has made incredible impact in the fashion industry. With their unique and ultra-luxurious designs, there is no stopping House Chanel.
Beginner’s Guide for Chanel Bag
Chanel has made several bags with different designs and patterns that shook the world. You will see people from different walks of life strutting their luxurious Chanel bags in different parts of the world. Although they have different bag designs that continue to grow, these four bags have given Chanel its mark on the world.
The 2.55 bag is probably the most iconic of all the Chanel bags. It was first released in February 1955, pretty obvious how it got its name. What makes the 2.55 bag popular to bag lovers is the long thin strap it has that allows the users to be completely free in moving around but still maintaining the sophisticated look.
Over the years, the 2.55 bag has undergone a lot of alterations and some limited editions but the original design is still available on the market. Would you believe that this bag comes with seven pockets including a discreet inner pocket where Coco Chanel is believed to store love notes while she was having an affair. One Chanel 2.55 bag may take 15 hours to make and this includes overall time needed for hand stitching, design process and perfecting the smallest details.
What’s special about the Chanel 11.12 bag is that it’s the first ever Chanel bag to use the interlocking CC lock. This bag is a brainchild of Karl Lagerfeld as he sheds light on the original 2.55 bag of Gabrielle Chanel. The 11.12 bag also has a leather chain strap and it has used different materials, colors and designs.
Chanel Boy Bag
The Chanel Boy Bag was first launched for the autumn/winter collection of ‘11/’12. It’s considered to be one of the unique designs and it came as a surprise for Chanel to release such a design. It’s made to take after Arthur Boy Capel which is one of Gabrielle Chanel’s greatest loves. It’s feminine and stylish and it comes in five different sizes for you to choose from. For the hardware, the Chanel Boy Bag uses ruthenium, a known material that resists rotting, degrading and rust.
Chanel Flap Bag
The classic Chanel Flap Bag is often mistaken as the first bag that Chanel has released. Karl Lagerfeld inaugurated this bag in 1983 as a reinterpretation of the 2.55 bag and it’s usually called as “the Reissue”. It has a turn style lock and it comes in four different sizes.
Information Guide for Materials used in Chanel Handbags
A Chanel Bag is definitely a luxury staple that every fashionista aspires to have. Each bag design offers a timeless beauty and with every purchase, you’ll know that it’s made with extensive craftsmanship. Here’s a guide on the popular materials Chanel uses in their handbags.
Gabriel Coco Chanel first used the Lambskin leather in the 1960s and it’s also one of the first non-fabric materials that House Chanel utilized. The lambskin leather gives Chanel bags its refined feeling due to its buttery, soft texture. It’s also widely used in Chanel wallets, shoes and the Classic Flap.
This type of leather is quite distinct as it has a grainy texture that seems like embossed pebbles. Karl Lagerfeld introduced this material in the 1990s and has been a staple material that House Chanel uses because of its scratch resistance features and toughness.
This kind of leather is from a carefully selected cowhide. Chanel usually use three different types of Calfskin leather:
- Smooth Calfskin – the smooth calfskin leather is usually seen in Chanel Boy Bag and is frequently compared to the lambskin leather.
- Pebbled Calfskin – It has a grainy texture that people mistake it for the Caviar leather. This is seen in Chanel large bags and luggage.
- Aged Calfskin – Often found in the Reissue collection, it comes with less structure with a distressed feature.
This is a glossy coated calfskin leather that Chanel first utilized in the 1980s. Most of Chanel’s early patent leather bags come in black color with a gold hardware. Along with lambskin and caviar leather, patent leather is the third most used material in House Chanel.
Coco Chanel introduced the tweed fabric way back in 1924. It creates a unique and funky vibe and it’s made up of different yarns so that no two tweed fabrics look the same.
Chanel Bag Appreciation
Buying a Chanel bag is actually considered a great investment that some of its bags can even buy a house. A lot of the styles of the bags mentioned above are surprisingly getting an increasing value over time. If you plan to purchase limited edition bags, this is a smart move as these bags can be highly appreciated in value and you can sell it at a higher price.
Considering the hardware should also be a part of your decisions. It has been found out that sellers find it easy to sell bags that come with traditional hardware compared to modern ones.
How do you Authenticate a Chanel Bag?
Gone are the days when you only authenticate your bags by asking if they come with an authenticity card. Nowadays, knowing how to authenticate luxury handbags has become a science and a work of art of its own. Here, we present to you a complete guide on how you can truly determine a fake Chanel handbag to an original one.
Study the Date Codes or Serial Numbers
Checking the serial numbers or date codes should be your first course of action and not the authenticity card. Scan if the bag has a sticker inside and see if the serial number corresponds to the table below.
Keep in mind that Chanel will never use a plain or boring sticker where they put their serial numbers in. For the first serial numbers, bags that were produced in late 1980s and early 1990s, their serial numbers are printed in a white sticker and they have subtle interlinking Chanel (CC) logos.
Around the late 1990s Chanel has evolved its stickers by making their logo more recognizable and the serial numbers are printed on opaque film.
After their 5-series serial number, Chanel embarked on battling counterfeits by making sure that their stickers are not easily imitated. They covered the stickers using gold and blue glitters and the serial number imprint is on a holographic sticker that comes in 2-layers. The bottom part has the serial number printed and it’s engraved with a letter X and this is a great security feature as one can’t remove this without completely destroying the sticker.
Also, you should take note that Chanel puts their stickers on the item in two different ways. The first one is directly on the interior lining. Most Chanel leather items have their stickers directly attached on the interior part. The serial number can either be facing upside down and right-side up. The second way is that they attach their stickers on a leather tab.
Examine the Hardware
The hardware Chanel uses for each item gives its own high-end feeling, usually the hardware is the part that counterfeiters have a hard time emulating. Checking their hardware is a little tricky but the key point is that the right C overlaps the left C on the top part while the left C overlaps the other C at the bottom.
If you notice that the CC logo is not centered both horizontally and vertically, it might be a counterfeit. The thing with Chanel bags is that their emblem is placed in a perfect center. In addition, the C should have a flat edge and they are never rounded. You might observe that some bags will have stamps and others may not. The ones with the stamps are an indication that the bag was made in France while no stamp means it was manufactured in Italy. However, the stamps should be pristine as fake ones are illegible.
Once you open the bag, you should inspect if the color of the hardware is the same color as the stamping. Look out for Chanel bags that say “Made in Paris” as the company only uses France and Italy as their Made In stamps. However, Chanel has items that use the word “Paris” on their hardware.
Stitch Quality and Count
Buying a Chanel handbag means you are also investing in great craftsmanship, and this reflects on their stitching patterns. You will know that the item is genuine if there are no irregularities on the stitching. The House of Chanel utilizes high counts which means that there should be 10 or more stitches on the edges of the diamond quilts. The high number of stitches are made to make the bag sturdy and at the same time prevents the leather from bulging.
Quilting Symmetry and Pattern
Chanel is serious about creating every single bag into a work of art and they do this by taking care of even the smallest detail. One of the main indicators that a bag is fake when the quilting pattern at the back part of the bag is not symmetrical Chanel exudes perfection in making sure that each diamond quilt at the rear part has perfect symmetry.
Take a look at these two photos, the first bag can be easily detected as fake since there are irregular shape diamonds thus not creating perfect symmetry.
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