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Updated on 26 April 2022
Everything You Need To Know About The Chanel Classic Flap Bag
Often recognised as the most famous handbag in the world, the Chanel Classic Flap bag is truly an icon. For most bag lovers or first-time buyers of designer handbags, it's the ultimate bag to add to any collection. But what makes the Classic Flap bag so unique and sought-after? Here are some intriguing facts about its surprising history and distinctive design, which bear the mark of Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel herself.
Since its debut, there have been various iterations of the Classic Flap bag, and it now comes in various sizes and leathers, such as calf leather, caviar, tweed, denim, among others.

What was the inspiration behind the Chanel Classic Flap Bag?
Speak the hallowed name of the house of Chanel and the image most likely to be conjured up is its trademark interlocking CC logo on the Chanel Classic Flap bag.

Formally christened the 11.12 bag after the Medium Classic Flap's style code, this legendary handbag was debuted in 1983 by Karl Lagerfeld as a reinterpretation of the Chanel 2.55 bag.

The Chanel Classic Flap bag shares many characteristics with its predecessor, although there are distinct differences. For starters, the Classic Flap bag is festooned with the interlocking CC logo clasp, while the 2.55 features the rectangular Mademoiselle lock. This prominent design feature was perhaps inspired by the logomania of the '80s, and was an attempt by Lagerfeld to rekindle the maison's old spark when he took over its reins.

Apart from the turn-lock clasp, the shoulder strap on the Classic Flap has leather threaded through its gold chain strap, whereas the 2.55 has stuck to its original design of an all-chain strap throughout the years.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the right size or a specific colour option, here’s our essential fact-check for buying a Chanel Classic Flap bag, or the 11.12.
  • 01

    Design

    A Chanel Classic Flap bag always refers to the Flap bag with a leather-woven chain strap and an interlocking CC clasp. Every element of the Classic Flap bag has its roots in Gabrielle Chanel's personal life. The diamond quilting was inspired by saddle blankets due to Gabrielle's love of equestrian sports, while the burgundy interior is allegedly the same hue as the convent uniforms she wore as a child.

    Traditionally, the Classic Flap is a double flap bag that consists of an exterior flap closure and an interior flap compartment. However, on occasion, it has also been made in sizes that can only fit the exterior flap with an open interior. These are known as single flap bags and have since been discontinued since 2014, though it's still possible to find them in the preloved market.

  • 02

    Sizes

    The Classic Flap bag has been created in an array of sizes for all your various needs. The most petite is the Extra Mini, a micro-bag that's just 17cm wide, while the largest is the Maxi at 34cm wide. Undoubtedly, the most popular size is the Medium Classic Flap bag that's substantially sized to fit all your essentials while being compact enough for all types of occasions.

    When deciding between sizes, it's best to try them on in person. Our Second Edit showroom lets you experience your favourite preloved handbags offline. Note that the smaller sizes might not be able to fit larger smartphones like the iPhone 13 Pro, so checking out the measurements would be useful. Meanwhile, the larger sizes might overwhelm more petite frames even though they're functional enough to fit a foldable umbrella.

  • 03

    Colours

    If you're a first-time buyer looking to invest in a Chanel handbag, you'll most likely be drawn to Chanel's most iconic shades in Black and Beige - and for good reason. These classic hues are the epitome of timelessness and versatility, and they tend to hold out well on the resale market.

    But if you're a seasoned Chanel shopper looking to add a little oomph to your collection, then you'll be excited by the entire range of seasonal styles and rare releases that Chanel has created. Whether it's a bright orange shade or a glitter-encrusted style straight off the runway, set your imagination free with an inspired choice. Plus, Chanel usually does not re-release colours so if you find one you love, be sure to snap it up before it’s gone forever!

  • 04

    Materials

    Once you've got a size and colour in mind, it's time to delve into the exciting material world of Chanel, which is defined by the maison's artisanal legacy. While Chanel is renowned for its signature lambskin and caviar leathers, the Classic Flap bag has appeared in a wide range of textiles and textures - such as brocade and even natural straw.

    Before committing to a purchase, it’s worth it to learn more about long-term material care. If you plan to use your bag frequently (or even daily), then scratch-resistant caviar leather and aged calfskin leather are suitable for their durability and ease of maintenance.

  • 04

    Hardware

    Finally, the style of Chanel’s hardware on a Classic Flap bag can make an equally significant impression as the bag’s material. The most common finishes in shiny gold and polished silver are perfect for everyday wear, but there are other styles to choose from. Brushed or matte hardware exude a more feminine elegance, while rarer options like So Black or Ruthenium add an edgier vibe.

How can I tell a real Chanel Classic Flap bag from a fake?
As one of the most coveted brands, Chanel is often also one of the most replicated. At Second Edit, authenticity is one of our highest priorities. Here are some signs to look out for.

For a more comprehensive guide on how to spot a counterfeit designer handbag, check out our insider tips by our in-house bag expert.
  • 01

    Check the CC logo

    The right C must always overlap the left C on top, while the left C should overlap on the bottom. The two letters should also be of the same width.

  • 02

    Sizes

    The Classic Flap bag has been created in an array of sizes for all your various needs. The most petite is the Extra Mini, a micro-bag that's just 17cm wide, while the largest is the Maxi at 34cm wide. Undoubtedly, the most popular size is the Medium Classic Flap bag that's substantially sized to fit all your essentials while being compact enough for all types of occasions.

    When deciding between sizes, it's best to try them on in person. Our Second Edit showroom lets you experience your favourite preloved handbags offline. Note that the smaller sizes might not be able to fit larger smartphones like the iPhone 13 Pro, so checking out the measurements would be useful. Meanwhile, the larger sizes might overwhelm more petite frames even though they're functional enough to fit a foldable umbrella.

  • 03

    Colours

    If you're a first-time buyer looking to invest in a Chanel handbag, you'll most likely be drawn to Chanel's most iconic shades in Black and Beige - and for good reason. These classic hues are the epitome of timelessness and versatility, and they tend to hold out well on the resale market.

    But if you're a seasoned Chanel shopper looking to add a little oomph to your collection, then you'll be excited by the entire range of seasonal styles and rare releases that Chanel has created. Whether it's a bright orange shade or a glitter-encrusted style straight off the runway, set your imagination free with an inspired choice. Plus, Chanel usually does not re-release colours so if you find one you love, be sure to snap it up before it’s gone forever!

  • 04

    Materials

    Once you've got a size and colour in mind, it's time to delve into the exciting material world of Chanel, which is defined by the maison's artisanal legacy. While Chanel is renowned for its signature lambskin and caviar leathers, the Classic Flap bag has appeared in a wide range of textiles and textures - such as brocade and even natural straw.

    Before committing to a purchase, it’s worth it to learn more about long-term material care. If you plan to use your bag frequently (or even daily), then scratch-resistant caviar leather and aged calfskin leather are suitable for their durability and ease of maintenance.

  • 04

    Hardware

    Finally, the style of Chanel’s hardware on a Classic Flap bag can make an equally significant impression as the bag’s material. The most common finishes in shiny gold and polished silver are perfect for everyday wear, but there are other styles to choose from. Brushed or matte hardware exude a more feminine elegance, while rarer options like So Black or Ruthenium add an edgier vibe.

Buy Authentic Chanel Classic Flap Bag from Second Edit
Have you set your sights on a Chanel Classic Flap bag of your choice? One consideration is if you should buy a preloved Classic Flap bag or a brand new one at a brick-and-mortar Chanel boutique.

With the recent price hike in November 2021
, you will now have to splurge more to own your dream Chanel Classic Flap bag. Luckily, you don’t have to buy Chanel brand new at full price.

By buying a preloved Classic Flap bag, you’ll not only get to snag one at a discount but you also might stumble upon a unique vintage style or collectible special edition that’s hard to find anywhere else. It’s perfect for if you’re on the hunt for a Classic Flap in a specific shade of cream, for example.

All designer bags on Second Edit undergo a rigorous authentication and inspection process before they’re accepted on our platform. So go ahead and shop our collection of preloved Chanel Classic Flap bags with peace of mind and the knowledge that they’re 100% authentic!
Interested in selling a Chanel Classic Flap Bag?
Know your worth if you’re looking to sell or consign a Classic Flap bag. By consigning your bag with us, you’ll receive attractive monthly payouts that you can easily save up for a whole new bag upgrade or to try new styles with Second Edit.

At Second Edit, our consignment process is designed to be as seamless and smooth as possible.


Find out more about our consignment service here.