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Updated on 26 April 2022
The History Behind the Timeless Chanel 2.55
If you’re wondering what the iconic Chanel 2.55 is all about, we got you!

Let’s go back in time to the ‘50s. You’re in a dazzling Parisian party, the drinks and conversations are flowing and you’re struggling to cling to the bag under your arm while you’re sipping on your glass of wine, smoking a cigarette, or swaying to the music. If you feel the inconvenience just reading it, you’re not alone – Gabrielle Chanel felt it too. Come February 1955, when she crafted the Chanel 2.55 bag with the signature gold-plated chain. Now you know how the name ‘2.55’ came about!

The Chanel 2.55 bag liberated women’s hands – being the friend they could always trust. A first in history, for women of considerable social status to carry a bag on their shoulders, while keeping it fashionable and acceptable.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel declared as saying in Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie, “I was fed up with holding my purses in my hands and losing them, so I added a strap and carried them over my shoulder”. The Chanel 2.55 truly embodies Coco Chanel’s spirit of freedom and elegance.
Pictured: Jacqueline Kennedy, Former First Lady of United States, with her Chanel 2.55 bag
Pictured: Jacqueline Kennedy, Former First Lady of United States, with her Chanel 2.55 bag
The famous quilting design is said to have drawn inspiration from the diamond quilts of jockey riding jackets.

Magic is in the details
The Chanel 2.55 is an ode to Coco Chanel’s equestrian spirit. The shape, colour, pattern – everything houses a reference to her life.

That’s why it’s equally important to understand where Gabrielle Chanel came from. At the age of 12, she lost her mother to bronchitis and her father abandoned her. She spent her girlhood at a Catholic orphanage. We will see how her days at the convent found space in her designs.

Inspired by the nuns' belts from her Catholic orphanage, she created the iconic gold and silver-plated brass chain to serve as a hand or shoulder strap. This rectangular-shaped bag is secured by the classic Mademoiselle twist lock. Fashion lore mentions that the name ‘Mademoiselle’ was derived from the fact that Coco never married. The burgundy interior is yet another souvenir of the uniform she wore at the convent.

With its two flaps, the 2.55 has 7 pockets – a zipped pocket, a front pocket, a back pocket, three interior pockets, including an inner one that Chanel intended for lipsticks only (some say love letters, too) –  each a game-changer in realistic design. The Da Vinci masterpiece ‘Mona Lisa’ is said to have been the inspiration for the curve on the outer back pocket – the perfect place to stash tips back then, but, now, the perfect place to nest one’s phone.
Pictured: Catherine Deneuve wearing a Chanel 2.55 bag featuring the curved back pocket in 1961 (Farabola/Leemage)
Pictured: Jacqueline Kennedy, Former First Lady of United States, with her Chanel 2.55 bag
Chanel 2.55 Reissue
In February 2005, to celebrate Chanel’s 50th anniversary, Karl Lagerfeld (who took over as Chief Designer in 1983) crafted the 2.55 Reissue. The Reissue honours the original details and features. Available in soft lambskin and calfskin leather, the 2.55 Reissue was cherished and celebrated by fashionistas all over the world.
  • Size 2.24
  • Size 225
  • Size 226
  • Size 2.27
(8″ x 6″ x 2″) comparable to the Chanel Mini Flap bag
(8″ x 6″ x 2″) comparable to the Chanel Mini Flap bag
(11″ x 8″ x 3.5″) comparable to the Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap bag
(12″ x 7.5″ x 3 ¾”) comparable to the Chanel Maxi Classic Flap bag
The Iconic Chanel 2.55 comes in colours like grey, purple, black, blue, brown, gold/yellow, pink, red, and beige. The most loved and picked colour is the classy black. The bag is available in various leathers, like Caviar leather, Lambskin leather, and Calfskin leather, depending on personal preference.
Pictured: Chanel Reissue 226 Double Flap with Ruthenium Hardware
  • Large
  • 2.55
  • Maxi
Large 2.55 Handbag in Aged Calfskin & Black Metal - S$15,200

Large 2.55 Handbag in Aged Calfskin & Gold-Tone Metal - S$14,200

Large 2.55 Handbag in Aged Calfskin & Gold-Tone Metal (light gold) - S$14,200
2.55 Handbag in Tweed, Resin & Silver Metal - S$9,990

2.55 Handbag in Aged Calfskin & Gold-tone Metal - S$13,190

2.55 Handbag in Shearling Lambskin, Aged Calfskin & Gold-tone Metal White - S$13,190

2.55 Handbag in Metallic Crumpled Calfskin & Gold-Tone Metal  - S$13,190

2.55 Handbag in Aged Calfskin & Gold-Tone Metal (Blue) - S$13,190
Maxi 2.55 Handbag in Aged Calfskin & Gold-tone Metal betal - S$15,050

Mini 2.55 Handbag in Aged Calfskin & Gold-Tone Metal - S$6,410
How to Spot a Counterfeit Chanel 2.55 Bag
While nothing beats an original receipt, authenticity card, and original packagings, here’s a easy guide to doing a quick authenticity check while buying a Chanel 2.55 bag on the resale market.
  • The Chanel logo - the right C always overlaps the left C from above and the left C overlaps the right C from below. This rule applies to the Chanel 2.55 and may not necessarily be applied to other products in the Chanel line.
  • Ensure you receive an authenticity card. This card contains a serial number to assure authenticity.
  • The Chanel 2.55 has an embroidered serial number in the lower corner or on the zipper. Make sure the numbers on your card and bag match.
  • Rip-offs usually have a lower amount of stitching per panel. Compare the stitching per panel to a real Chanel bag. Fake bags can often be recognised by rough seams and sewing
  • Only buy vintage or preloved Chanel bags from authenticated resellers, such as Second Edit!