1. The 2.55 is the original Chanel shoulder bag
The first bag that Coco Chanel designed in 1929 was hand-carried, just like all other bags that were available to upper-class women during that era. However, it turned out to be an impossible task to combine the bag with a flûte champagne, theater leaflets and hors d’oeuvres. But in 1995 Coco Chanel changed handbag history with the introduction of the Chanel 2.55. It was modified for practical reasons. "I got fed up with holding my purses in my hands and losing them, so I added a strap and carried them over my shoulder,” The practical 2.55 therefore immediately was a great succes. In the first year Gabrielle Chanel even had to refuse orders because of the high demand. For the first time, it was acceptable for upper-class women to carry a bag on their shoulders.
2. The signature double CC lock didn’t debut until the 80’s
When you think about the Chanel 2.55 bag you probably think of the interlocking CC lock, but the signature CC lock didn’t debut until the 80’s when Karl Lagerfeld designed a modern version of the bag.
3. The leather-woven strap came later, too
Chanel’s first flap bags all had chain straps. But when resources were scarce Chanel started to make straps intertwined with leather for the bags. Since then several different types of chains have been made. Today classic flaps only use leather-woven chain straps, and the modern 2.55s only use chain straps.
4. The 2.55’s interior was inspired by orphans
The shade of burgundy that can be found inside of flaps bags was inspired by the uniforms worn by coco and the other orphans at the orphanage where she was raised.
5. The differences between the 2.55, the Classic Flap and Reissue
The 2.55 is often used as an catch-all term to refer to all Chanel Flap Bags but the 2.55 actually specifically refers to Coco Chanel’s original design and can be recognized by the Mademoiselle Lock. The Classic Flap Bag refers to the design of Karl Lagerfeld of the 1990s that has a interlocking CC lock. Finally the Reissue is a 2005 version of the 2.55 that Karl Lagerfeld reissued. They look completely the same, the only difference is that the Reissue bags are recently made.
6. The distinction between a double flap and a single flap
The difference between a double flap and a single flap bag is that the double flap has both an exterior flap closure and an interior flap compartment while the single flap bag only has an exterior flap with an open interior. Traditionally, 2.55s and Classic Flaps are both Double Flaps, however some Classic Flaps are made into Single Flap bags.
7. The purpose of the hidden zipper
Under the top flap, Flap Bags have a zipper compartment that you won’t find in bags from other brands. Coco Chanel designed this zipper as a secret spot to hide her love letters that she wrote for her lover with who she had an passionate affair.