Beatrice Lessi Dostinja Tomovic
| Fashion,

The Greatest Bag Of All Time?

Beatrice Lessi


Chanel designed her first shoulder-strapped bag (which was later numerically defined “2.55”) in the Twenties, influenced by soldiers’ knapsacks. She was bored of having to clutch their predecessors in her hands – which, she felt, should be occupied with more important work. The Chanel bag, therefore, was the ultimate feminist accessory: it let women get on with their lives, just like men.

The 2.55 Chanel bag turns 60 this month and it was a hit since first presented to the market.
Coco Chanel herself owned about 15 bags in different variations.


Helena from The Brooklyn Blonde has a collection – she wears Chanel in every possible colour. Photo:


For its first revamp, Coco Chanel added a contrast burgundy lining, which, apparently, referenced the uniforms of the Aubazine Abbey orphanage where she grew up. The quilting gave it structure, and harked back to all the quilting on Chanel’s suits.


A house best-seller, inspired by soldiers’ knapsacks. Photo:

The house of Chanel itself revived the 2.55 in the Eighties, under Karl Lagerfeld, adding variations on the theme including a leather-twined chain and double-C clasps: it became a status symbol again then, an It Bag before that god-awful phrase was even invented a decade later.


Carla Bruni (from right), Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell were among the supermodels launching the “new” Chanel. Photo:


Belonging to the canon of universal style, designers such as Tory Burch, Mulberry and even good old Topshop can offer variations on the style without feeling like they’re copying.
Chanel’s Fifties classic shows no signs of waning popularity, whether the name affixed to it belongs to Chanel, or one of a host of others.


Lauren Conrad is one of the countless celebrities who wear the classic 2.55. Photo:


There are many versions of the classic flap-bag today; colourful, wintery, close to the original, with fur, in phyton, velvety. Hard to decide what looks best; if you invest in one bag only, this one could be for sure a very timeless choice.


Kim Kardashian wears an emerald green version. Photo:


Timeless 2.55 flap-bag. Photo:


A recent Chanel campaign featuring Cara Delevingne.

This article is based on Chanel’s 2.55 celebrates 60 years as the greatest it-bag of all time.