If you’ve ever shopped vintage, you know that nothing quite compares to the excitement surrounding finding a vintage designer handbag in excellent condition. And especially if that’s a handbag from Chanel. Given the ever-growing prices for new Chanel handbags, vintage ones are no longer this easy to come by.
It goes without saying that if you’ve managed to get your hands on a vintage Chanel handbag in mint condition, you’ve basically won a lottery. Because not only do these handbags tell a unique design story, but they are also in general higher quality, sporting exclusive features such as gold-plated hardware. Not even to mention that certain vintage Chanel handbags also make really good investments, constantly fetching impressive amounts at resale. And if you’re looking to add one to your collection, here are the top 6 styles to look for.
1. Chanel Vintage Classic Flap Bag
In 2023, the Chanel Classic Flap celebrated its 40 year launch anniversary. The style that’s now synonymous with Chanel, therefore it’s no surprise that vintage versions of the bag are highly-sought after among collectors. Quite frankly, the demand for vintage Classic Flaps has only been increasing throughout the years. Thank the price increases for that, as well as the fact that Chanel doesn’t make their bags with 24k gold-plated hardware anymore.
2. Chanel Timeless WOC
Launched in 1997, the WOC remains one of Chanel’s most coveted styles. Blurring the lines between a wallet and a clutch, the Chanel WOC is an excellent choice for someone who doesn’t carry much, but likes to have the convenience of the strap. Typically crafted from caviar leather, the vintage Chanel Timeless WOC sports the iconic CC logo at the front for an instantly recognizable look.
3. Chanel Vintage Camera Case
Among the best vintage Chanel bags to invest in is also the Chanel Vintage Camera Case. Introduced in the early 1980s, the Chanel Camera Bag takes inspiration from camera cases used by photographers and reporters at that time. Typically crafted from buttery-soft lambskin, vintage Chanel Camera Bags feature a classic boxy shape and a fashionable leather tassel zipper pull.
4. Chanel Vintage Vanity Case
Tempted by the cutesy Chanel vanity bags? Well, you may want to wait until you see their vintage counterparts! That’s right, Chanel is not new to the vanity bag. In fact, it has been one of the brand’s signature styles since the early ‘90s, when Karl Lagerfeld first introduced the vanity bag for the brand. Inspired by toiletry bags used by women in the past, Chanel’s vintage vanity bags combine the practicality of a vanity case and wearability of a handbag. Particularly sought-after are models with a shoulder strap.
5. Chanel Diana Flap Bag
Produced from 1989 to 1995, the Chanel Diana is another coveted style among vintage Chanel lovers and handbag collectors. Popularized by the People’s Princess herself, hence why Karl Lagerfeld later has decided to rename the handbag after her, the Chanel Diana is characterized by a partially quilted exterior and a curved front panel. If you shop at Chanel boutiques, you might have noticed that the bag was recently resurrected. That doesn’t, however, impact the popularity of vintage versions in any way.
6. Chanel Vintage Duma Backpack
Did you know that some of the most popular and sought-after Chanel backpacks today are vintage designs from the 90s? Particularly, the Duma Backpack. Incorporating signature Chanel details, such as the diamond quilted leather, chain and leather strap and the iconic CC logo, this backpack is nothing less than a design masterpiece. Not even to mention that it holds its resale value really well.