Turns out it was more of an investment than you think
As a 31-year-old French woman, a Chanel 2.55 bag has been top of my wish-list since forever. With my Topshop Mom jeans, my brother's Thierry Armant white shirt and my J Crew tux, it's the only thing missing from my Parisian girl uniform.
Alas I'm still saving up for mine, but I'm kicking myself, because had I got my financial shit together sooner, I'd be sitting on a £3k+ investment. According to pre-owned luxury website Collector Square the classic Chanel accessory has gone up in value by 70% in the last five years.
To put things into perspective, that's a higher increase in housing prices in London. So if you're lucky enough to own one (not that I'd ever sell mine if I got my hands on one) you've got yourself a very stylish nest egg. It turns out it's not just the 2.55 that is a worth while buy. The Quilted Classic and the Boy Bag will also go up in value. And because there's a bit of fashion geek in all of us, here's a bit of history on each of these iconic bags. And guess what you can shop one here too.
WHAT MAKES THE 2.55 ICONIC
2.55 refers to the month and the year in which Coco Chanel’s design was first introduced: February 1955. It was born out of a desire to create a bag that was both classic in design and easy to carry hands-free. The rectangular ‘Mademoiselle lock’ of the 2.55 was designed by Coco herself and was the standard until the 80s when Karl started designing at the house of Chanel.
Collector Square’s leather goods expert, Jérôme Lalande, comments, ‘The 2.55 bag in leather models has increased its average value by 70% over the last 5 years/ Given that they are extremely difficult to find on the second-hand market, a 2.55 bag in excellent condition can exchange hands today for, on average, between £2,500-£3,500.’
The Quilted Classic
WHAT MAKES THE QUILTED CLASSIC ICONIC
As the name suggests, the Classic Flab bag from the timeless collection is an enduring classic. It was first introduced by Karl Lagerfeld when he first joined the house of Chanel in 1983. Keeping the same silhouette as the original 2.55, it received a modern update with the addition of the iconic interlocking CC logo.
Jérôme says, ‘The Timeless Classic Flap bag has increased its average value by an impressive 140% over the last 5 years (leather models). For the ultimate timeless Chanel bag, try a Chanel All Black limited edition with black accessories and hardware. This is one of the rarest Timeless models on the market and is therefore an excellent investment.’
The Boy Bag
WHAT MAKES THE BOY BAG ICONIC
Named after Arthur Capel, an English polo player and Chanel’s lover known as ‘Boy’, it’s playfully masculine. When he started designing for Chanel, karl researched deep into the archives of the house of Chanel and found a picture of Coco Chanel wearing a hunting cross-over bag, which inspired him to create the Boy model, using the DNA of Chanel with a touch of rock.
Jérôme comments, ‘Designed in 2010, the Boy bag is still a relatively recent model and is only just surfacing on the second hand market, Its discount price compared to retail price is still quite narrow, especially due to the high demand for this model. As ever, savvy collectors should look for limited edition varieties of the Boy bag because these are likely to be worth more on the second market in the next few years.’
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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