Chanel bags are considered to be an iconic staple piece and a great investment. Whether you already have one in your collection or are aspiring to, I'm sure that we can all agree that a Chanel bag is a symbol of timeless class and luxury. Following the origins of the classic 2.55 model in 1929, the brand has since introduced a number of renowned classic styles.
Whilst it would be enjoyable to go down memory lane and explore the ten most iconic Chanel handbags of all time, today we are focusing on those truly special pieces that are here one season and gone the next. Only a handful of bags have made it to be seen as a collector must-have. Some from the highly anticipated Metiers D'art shows, and others from memorable Spring/ Summer or Autumn/ winter shows over the years. What these bags have in common is their holy grail status. Impossible to purchase and commanding a high premium above retail, to serious collectors their practicality and wearability doesn't matter - they're a must have!
Chanel Russian Doll Minaudière
The Chanel Russian doll, also known as the Matryoshka Doll bag, was originally presented for the Pre Fall 2009 Paris - Moscow collection. The minaudière which is inspired by the traditional decorative Russian doll is a true collectors item. The Resin and gold doll bag features the signature CC logo and chain/ leather shoulder strap and has since been reinvented in a few variations. Chanel changed the rules with its spin on this decorative piece for the Paris Shanghai Metiers D'art show in 2009, proving that the Russian doll is in fact wearable art.
Chanel Shopping Basket
Whilst on the topic of unusual everyday items turned into Chanel accessories, the Chanel shopping basket is one of their most iconic limited edition pieces.
The classic wire shopping essential was given a luxury twist and infused with Chanel DNA by way of the CC logo and chain/ leather detailing. This collectors dream is from the memorable Fall/ Winter 2014 supermarket themed show. This collection boasted a number of notable supermarket themed bags, from the Lait de Coco milk box to the meat packaged flap bag. This shopping basket gives a whole new meaning to basket bags.
Chanel Graffiti backpack
Formally known as the 'Oh My Boy' backpack, the graffiti bag looks to be the result of a Karl Lagerfeld DIY backpack party. The backpack first launched in Autumn/ Winter 2014 and is one of Chanel's more edgier styles. The DIY-esque nature of the bag is that of a rebels dream. The colourful, young and artsy elements of the bag seem to mirror that of the Chanel rock'n'roll chic front girls at the time; Cara Delevigne and Kristen Stewart. Although a statement, the backpack is as timeless piece and has been reimagined in two of colours over the years and is arguably a new classic.
Chanel Heart Bag
Designed by Karl Lagerfeld, this heart shaped vanity case in quilted patent leather with the iconic Chanel logo is a Vintage collectors dream. Although first seen by many on Kylie Jenner's instagram, this kitsch piece is from the 1995 spring collection and is one of the most covetable vintage pieces from the brands archive.
Chanel 'Sand By The Sea' Flap Bag
The Sand By The Sea flap bag is a playful recreation of one of the more classic Chanel styles. Although the bag retains its classic elements such as the shape, leather/chain strap and flap, this bag is an example of how the brand is able to be playful and push boundaries whilst maintaining an air of elegance. The PVC, faux pearl and sand infused accessory was part of the 2019 Chanel By The Sea collection and was and still is a highly sought after bag.
Chanel Turtle Shell Minaudière
There is something so special about a Chanel minaudière's and this piece is no exception. The Chanel plexiglass turtle shell is an unusual yet striking accessory. The egg like shape, tortoise texture and turtle shell plexiglass makes for the perfect combination when looking at a collectors piece. This particular accessory has a more exclusive feel to it as its not something you will have seen, unless you know the brand and its collections well. It was originally debuted in Seoul where tortoise shells are traditionally celebrated in art and is a piece of art in itself.
Chanel Pearl Flap Bag
The Chanel Pearl On Flap bag is a unique take on the original classic flap bag. Although this style is newer (2019 collection) and can't be considered vintage, this will undoubtedly become a vintage must have. Chanel pearls are adorned on a buttery calfskin black leather which gives it a striking contrast and makes it a standout bag.This limited edition number has fast become a highly sought after Chanel item and has been the IT bag all over Instagram since it's release.
Chanel No 5 Perfume Bottle Bag
The Chanel No.5 fragrance is as iconic as the classic bag, so the signature fragrance bottle being turned into an accessory seems genius. Although at first glance can be seen as one of Karl Lagerfeld's novelty pieces, the designer has a way of creating collections filled with treasure troves for the avid Chanel limited edition lover. This No.5 perfume bottle minaudière is amongst one of the rare collectors items Chanel has to offer.
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Words by: Jilian Banjoko