It’s a common case of mistaken identity: the original Chanel 2.55 and the Classic Flap bag. If one is not quite the Chanel expert yet, the term 2.55 is easily applied to refer to the Classic Flap. It’s certainly so that the two are very similar in both silhouette and design but it's precisely these teeny tiny details help us distinguish one from another.
2.55 vs. Classic Flap
The number 2.55 represents the month and the year in which Gabrielle's design was first introduced: February 1955. Both the 2.55 and the Classic Flap bag are indeed… flap bags, but while the 2.55 has a rectangular, turn-lock closure, the Classic Flap closes with interlocking CC’s. The ‘Mademoiselle lock' of the 2.55 was designed by Coco herself and was the standard until the 1980’s when Kaiser Karl started designing at the house of Chanel. Karl Lagerfeld introduced the iconic CC-closure which has become one of the most recognizable characteristics of the Classic Flap
The Chanel Reissue
The production of the older 2.55 was actually halted for a period of time, while the Classic Flap bag became the more popular design. Luckily, the 2.55 was revived in 2005 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Chanel, and was therefore named Reissue 2.55. The bag quickly reclaimed its fame. Since its revival the Reissue has been slightly altered, including changes in the strap, the leather and the inner flap.
Reissue vs. Classic Flap
The Reissue and the Classic Flap are easily recognized by their locks, straps and leather. While the 2.55 has a flat tarnished-looking chain, the Classic Flap has straps that are interlaced with leather. The variety of in leather is also a quick giveaway. The 2.55 comes in a more creased, distressed leather, while the Classic Flap is available in lambskin (smooth leather) or caviar (pebbled effect)