If you’re looking for the most popular Chanel bags, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our top picks.
Chanel conjures up feelings of a dream lifestyle, full of luxury and beauty. It’s one of the holy grails of high-end products. From apparel, to handbags, to beauty, Chanel has remained a household name. The exclusivity present in their luxury products only serves to make them that much more alluring.
With its rich history and timeless pieces, Chanel will forever be cemented in history.
That’s why we’ll be listing the 11 most popular Chanel bags of all time that are worthy of investment.
Plus, if you’re interested in luxury handbags, check out our top picks for the best Italian handbag brands.
A Background of Chanel
The iconic brand began back in 1910, in the majestic city of Paris. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel opened her first shop selling hats on the ground level of a Parisian flat.
Chanel was actually the mistress of the man who owned the flat, the beginnings of the brand already abundant in drama. She later left this wealthy businessman for another, Arthur “Boy” Capel, who also heavily contributed to Chanel’s beginning.
After the store’s success, she opened more shops and began selling clothes. Her first fashion inspiration was a dress she made from an old jersey. She quickly rose to popularity in the fashion and art community, even becoming friends with Pablo Picasso himself.
The brand really took off in the 1920’s following the release of her first perfume, the iconic Chanel No. 5. In response to WWII, Chanel closed temporarily from 1939 to 1954. Despite the break, Chanel only continued to gain popularity.
When the 1960’s rolled around, the Chanel name was set to stand the test of time.
“Coco” Chanel herself passed away in 1971, but her legacy lives on to this day. Karl Lagerfeld took over the company’s creative reins. Lagerfeld brought modern and innovative design ideas, while continuing to honor the Chanel classics. Now, let’s take a look at some of these timeless handbags.
Here are the 11 most popular Chanel bags:
Most Popular Chanel Bags
Named after Gabrielle Chanel herself, the Gabrielle Bag was released as part of the 2017 Spring Collection. The hobo-style handbag was marketed towards a younger crowd. After only 2 years, the Gabrielle Bag was one of the top-selling handbags.
The popularity it gained eventually led to them releasing a whole Gabrielle line with different variations. The bag is unique for lots of reasons, but we love the fact that it was the first bag to be featured as unisex. The bag featured long straps that can be worn in 7 different ways.
It might not be as popular currently as some of the other bags, but if Meghan Markle loves it, we do too.
Released in 2019, this is one of the newer additions to the House of Chanel. Sadly, Chanel 19 was one of the last handbags designed by Karl Lagerfeld before his death the same year.
Another tribute to the 2.55, this handbag comes with a chunky woven chain and gold chain handle. The design is slouchier than the 2.55, with a softer silhouette. It’s no surprise that Chanel 19 became a quick hit among the younger crowd.
The bag comes in new, modern colors and features an exaggerated version of Chanel’s signature diamond quilting. We predict that this handbag will only keep growing in popularity.
The Boy Chanel Handbag was released in 2011, another one of Karl Lagerfeld’s creations. The bag was named after Chanel’s previously mentioned lover, Arthur “Boy” Capel.
It was an immediate hit with its masculine edge. This was actually a purposeful move, as Chanel herself was known for her rebellious and boyish spirit. Lagerfeld called this bag “the very spirit of Chanel” and we agree.
After rising quickly to cult classic status, the Boy Bag remained near the top. Even today, Chanel frequently releases limited-edition versions of the bag in response to its popularity.
When it comes to the most popular Chanel bags, this is without a doubt the most iconic of all time. The OG of all cult classics. The bag was released by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel herself back in 1955. This bag literally changed the course of women’s fashion.
This was the first-ever women’s bag to be made with a shoulder strap. People were drawn towards Chanel’s designs as they stood for rebellion and freedom in a time when women weren’t allowed those things.
The bag is made with aged calfskin and gold-tone metal; it comes in 5 colors, but limited editions have been dropped. The chain strap offers a multitude of ways to wear this timeless bag. In addition to challenging social norms, the 2.55 Handbag was also the first purse that was truly functional for women.
In fact, the hidden zip pocket is one of the most famous parts of this bag; it’s where Chanel used to hide love letters during an affair.
Classic Flap (The 11.12)
Karl Lagerfeld’s first bag, released in 1983, became an immediate best-seller, and continues to be today. The 11.12 is Lagerfeld’s reimagination of the iconic 2.55 bag. Lagerfeld paid homage to the 2.55, while introducing a modern twist, which customers absolutely adored.
The 11.12 features an added woven leather chain strap, as well as a Double C turn-lock closure. The closure features the classic Chanel logo, another new idea from Lagerfeld.
Chanel introduced a variety of styles of the 11.12, so that the style was increasingly versatile. This handbag is a major celebrity favorite; the bag takes 15 hours and almost 150+ “operations” to create.
Today, the Classic Flap has become one of the most coveted handbags ever created.
Chanel Perfume Bottle
This Chanel handbag might not be the most mainstream choice, but the perfume-shaped purse definitely made eyes turn in the world of haute fashion. When it first debuted in a 2013 runway show, the unconventional handbag was instantly coveted.
It was unique and novel, even Lagerfeld admitted that he didn’t know why he never thought about the idea before. The bag is designed as a reinterpretation of the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume.
The bag comes as a clear, plexiglass clutch. After the immediate uproar, Chanel released a different variation of the bag the following year for their 2014 Chanel Cruise Collection.
This handbag can’t be considered a classic because its availability has always been extremely limited. That’s most likely the reason why huge celebs like Kim Kardashian have been seen flaunting the luxury handbag.
Grand Shopping Tote
The Grand Shopping Tote was the roomiest Chanel bag created, with the largest inside space. It rose to popularity during the 2000’s and became a staple in wardrobes. The success of the bag was heavily influenced by reality stars, like Paris Hilton, wearing the tote on shows and paparazzi photographs.
The shopping tote comes in 3 size variations, a petite, grand, and XL. All three also only come in the classic quilting design. Unfortunately, Chanel discontinued the tote in 2015.
However, as is the trend, this has only served to make it a rare vintage find. It is one of the most coveted Chanel bags today.
Wallet on Chain (WOC)
Chanel Wallet on Chain, known as the WOC, is one of the most practical bags created. The WOC is small but efficiently uses the space to fit any essentials perfectly. It even features a built-in wallet.
The petite handbag comes with a 24-inch strap that can either be worn over the shoulder, as a clutch, or as a crossbody. The versatility and functionality of this handbag is no doubt why its popularity continues to increase.
Looking at the WOC value-wise, it’s one of the most popular products on luxury resale markets. This classy style has been seen on the likes of Hollywood stars like Keira Knightly.
Camera Case Bag
Seen on the likes of Ariana Grande and Ashley Benson, the Camera Case Bag is a mini tote. The design was actually introduced in the 1980’s, but there have been other versions released over the years.
People love the design of this bag because it’s small and structured. The design was inspired by old-time photographer camera cases. It can be worn on the shoulder or across the chest.
It also features a full zip closure.
These handbags are dropped very infrequently, which makes them even more alluring. They are a rare find, which means people want to find them that much more.
Chanel Vanity Case
Inspired by Audrey Hepburn, and her era’s aesthetic, the Chanel Vanity Case design was first introduced in the 90’s. The earliest iteration was very limited in production and came in black caviar leather.
The vanity case structure resembles a jewelry box or cosmetics case, influenced by the Hepburn era accessories. The design was reimagined for the 2016 Chanel Airlines Spring/Summer Collection. The brand immediately had a high demand for the chic bag.
The design is loved because it has that glamorous, wealthy aesthetic; however, it’s still extremely practical to use. One of the most recent variations of the Vanity Case was a PVC patent leather model, released in 2020. Almost instantaneously, the bag surpassed the iconic Hermés Birkin bag in market resale value.
The Gabrielle Backpack is another bag that never reached cult classic level, but is still loved by thousands. As the name suggests, it’s a variation of the Gabrielle Bag, except in backpack form.
Using a backpack as a handbag is a fairly recent trend in the world of fashion, so this bag will only continue to climb the ranks. It’s practical and edgy, with a bucket-bag-like design. It has previously been seen on celebrities like Cara Delevigne and Penelope Cruz.
Today, Chanel continues to release updated and limited versions of the backpack, as the demand for it increases.
If this list of the most popular Chanel bags doesn’t make you want to be filthy rich, we don’t know what will. All jokes aside, Chanel is so much more than just a costly couture brand. The House of Chanel is rich in history and meaning.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was an icon of a woman; she was constantly challenging social norms set in place for women and fashion. She changed so many lives with the brand, instilling a sense of freedom and rebellion in her products. We absolutely love the feminist, renegade energy she expressed through her pieces.
There aren’t many brands that manage to stay relevant so long, but Chanel has. From dresses “Coco” Chanel originally made out of men’s underwear to the haute couture handbags still released today, Chanel remains one of the most influential brands around.
We hope you enjoyed the fascinating stories behind the brand, as well as our list for the most popular bags from them. If you ever decide to invest in a handbag yourself, you won’t regret it. They age like fine wine.