Chanel and its consumers
February, 1955. The Chanel house was fresh from its iconic comeback. Decades earlier, Coco had designed a handbag with two thin, shop chanel bags short straps when she’d grown tired of carrying her handbag always in her hands and had desired a way to free herself from the obligation. Now, she reinvented it. And it was named after the time of its recreation: 2.55. Nowadays the fashion house produces a newer version called the Classic Flap Bag, and while it’s become perhaps even more iconic than the original, it’s not technically a 2.55. In 2005, to commemorate the bag’s 50th anniversary Karl Lagerfeld created a replica of the original, known as the 2.55 Reissue. You don’t see the original or reissued 2.55s much, although the Classic Flap Bag is utterly unmistakable. As for the differences between the two, I guess you could argue that one is Coco’s original design while the other is, in effect, a translation of sorts by Karl Lagerfeld.
Despite its differences from the original, the chanel handbag is still termed as a 2.55 by both the house of Chanel and its consumers, but I was fascinated to know where the original came from – I’m a stickler for the oldschool, if that wasn’t obvious. Whether or not Coco was the first to create a hands-free handbag when she first designed the 2.55 in the 1920s I haven’t discovered, but it’s a perfect example of how her practicality and keen observance guided her to creating iconic pieces that would root themselves in fashion – and Chanel – history.
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