*Chanel’s Classic Flap bag is distinguished by a woven leather and metal chain, as well as by the iconic CC lock
*The 2.55 Flap bag’s defining features include the square Mademoiselle clasp and a longer bijoux chain
We all know and love Chanel Flap bags, and many own one or two (or a dozen); but not everyone understands the difference between the Classic Flap vs. the 2.55 Flap. Whether you’re researching for an upcoming purchase or just want a fun bit of trivia for your next cocktail party, here’s the rundown, starting way back in February of 1955. This is when Coco Chanel launched the 2.55 Flap bag. The difference between this style and the Classic Flap? It featured a bijoux box-link chain, which is slightly longer than the chain on the Classic, along with square-shaped lock hardware called the Mademoiselle lock and no CC logo.
By 1980, Karl Lagerfeld had taken the helm at the house of Chanel and designed the Classic Flap, switching it up with a woven leather and metal chain and more importantly, the famed logo (Chanel herself had come up with the interlocking CCs many years before, drawing inspiration from a chapel’s stained glass window design in Aubazine, the French village she grew up in). The result is the iconic bag we know today. The double-flap styles remain the original from 1990, though now there’s a single-flap, as well. Both come in different sizes and various leathers and materials: Lambskin, caviar (the most popular, due to its durability), exotic skins, tweed, denim, sequins, and beads.
In February 2005, the 2.55 Flap was re-released for the first time. It was executed in distressed lambskin to reflect the original bags from 1955. For Spring 2016, the 2.55 re-issue comes in washed denim (at Chanel for $3,400 – $3,900). In faded black or cool orange, it’s a nod to the current ’90s resurgence, trending big time in the realm of celebrity street style.
When talking Chanel, many people say “Classic 2.55 Flap bag.” Incorrect! It’s either a Classic Flap OR a 2.55 Flap. (Both feature a lipstick holder between the interior pockets.) As far as investments go, each holds well. And of course, now there’s also the Boy Chanel Flap bag (at Chanel for $4,300 – $5,200), another creation of Karl Lagerfeld’s, introduced in 2011.
Fun facts: The quilted design of the 2.55 Flap bag designed by Mademoiselle Chanel was inspired by her years in an orphanage. She spent a lot of time looking down at the tiled floors. And not all Chanel bags are made in France; many styles are made in Florence, Italy (I toured the factory!).