Atelier Icon Series #10 - The Chanel 2.55 Flap

Designed by Coco Chanel in February 1955 (hence the name), the Chanel 2.55 Flap signified fashion liberation.  Can you believe that it was the first bag made for women to come with a shoulder strap, freeing them from the constraints of the impractical clutch.  

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel reimagined fashion for the modern woman, breaking boundaries with each item she designed. The 2.55 Flap was a complete rule breaker of its time and women were immediately drawn in.  Coco put the emphasis on practicality and women’s needs…something that the fashion houses at that time were remiss to consider.  From the adjustable chain strap to the accessible back pocket, the bag reinvented style of that time. 

First created in the iconic diamond-stitched quilted leather, it featured the now famous deep burgundy interior lining.  According to fashion heresy, the colour represented the uniform that Gabrielle Chanel wore in the Aubazine Abbey convent as a child in France.

The original 2.55 featured the rectangular “Mademoiselle” lock and a ‘Bijoux’ chain.  It is said that the lock was given the name ‘Mademoiselle’ because Coco never married.  The Mademoiselle lock was a mainstay of Chanel Flaps until the legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld assumed the role of Chanel’s creative director in 1983. During this period of Chanel’s decline, Lagerfeld revitalised the Flap with a new interlocking CC logo lock and woven leather/chain straps.

How about the 2.55 Reissue? Ok, so this is where it can get a bit confusing!  Actually, the 2.55, Classic Flap and Reissue refer to slightly different things.  Let’s clear it up and we went straight to the experts at PurseBlogFirst and foremost, the Classic Flap refers to the Flap Bags with CC locks that follow the design conventions Karl Lagerfeld debuted in the 1980s. The 2.55 refers specifically to Coco Chanel’s original design with the Mademoiselle Lock, but is often used as a catch-all term to refer to all Chanel Flap Bags that use the brand’s traditional structures. A Reissue is a 2005 version of the 2.55 that Karl Lagerfeld reintroduced as an exact recreation of the original. Technically, Reissues are only those bags from 2005, but the term is often used as an easy way to refer to all recently made 2.55s.

Got it?

The Chanel 2.55 Reissue vs The Chanel Classic Flap

The Reissue’s can be overlooked in favour of the Classic Flaps but we think that they deserve more love.  Available in a variety of seasonal colour leathers and hardware, they have their own look and ‘vibe’.  A less obvious Chanel bag to the untrained eye, but one that exudes style and luxury nonetheless. 

We currently have a stunning 2017 Chanel 2.55 Reissue 227 in Red Chevron Quilted Caviar with Gold Hardware. A true beauty, she is in immaculate condition.  Chanel commands high prices at retail and the ‘large’ bags now retail at £6360 making the preloved market a natural place to turn to.  Take a look here for more details of our beautiful bag at only £3850.

So, would you be more open to a 2.55 Reissue or is it classic all the way?

Love Atelier x