Chanel handbags are without a doubt, some of the most desired in the world. But from a plethora of shoulder bags, totes, clutches and top handles, it can be a real struggle to choose which one to go for. A solution? Perhaps starting with designs that have stood the test of time. You see, out of the huge variety of Chanel handbags, certain models continue to be top-sellers year after year. And today we are going to talk about those bags. From the iconic Chanel 2.55 to the ultra-modern Gabrielle, here are the 10 most popular Chanel bags of all time.
1. Chanel 2.55
Starting up the list of the most popular Chanel handbags with the iconic Chanel 2.55. Introduced in February 1955 and designed by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel herself, the 2.55 revolutionized the fashion industry by introducing the concept of a shoulder strap, which liberated women from the constraints of carrying their handbags by hand.
The 2.55 bag also boasted several distinctive features, including the diamond-quilted pattern, the Mademoiselle lock, and the secret zip pocket on the interior (presumably intended for storing love letters). The bag’s design was heavily influenced by Coco Chanel’s own life, with the diamond quilting inspired by the jackets worn by jockeys, and the burgundy lining echoing the color of the uniform she wore in the convent where she grew up.
Chanel has re-released an exact copy of the original 2.55 bag back in February 2005 to honor the bag’s 50-year release anniversary. Today we know it as the 2.55 Re-issue. Offered season after season in multitude of sizes and materials, the 2.55 Re-issue is now one of the highlights of Chanel’s range and is highly coveted among those looking to own a piece of handbag history.
2. Chanel Classic Flap
When one thinks of Chanel bags, the Classic Flap is often the first that comes to mind. But did you know that the bag is actually Karl Lagerfeld’s interpretation of the 2.55? That’s right, when Karl Lagerfeld became Chanel’s creative director back in the early 80s, he decided to give the iconic style an update. That involved swapping out the lock, as well as changing of the strap, to give the bag a more modern and streamlined appearance. And he succeeded, subsequently introducing two of Chanel’s most iconic style codes – the CC lock and the interwoven strap.
Truly, if you think about it, most Chanel handbags these days come with these two features. However, the Classic Flap still remains the “OG”. I mean, it’s called classic for a reason. The bag also comes available in four different sizes, as well as an array of materials to suit every taste.
3. Chanel Boy Bag
The Chanel Boy Bag, designed and introduced by Karl Lagerfeld in 2011, represents a more contemporary take on the classic Chanel handbag. Named after the man that’s believed to be Gabrielle Chanel’s one true love, Boy Capel, the Chanel Boy Bag combines Chanel’s signature style codes with an array of modern elements, such as a a chunky, chain-link shoulder strap, and Lego brick inspired push lock CC closure.
What sets the Boy Bag apart from other Chanel bags is its edgier and androgynous aesthetic, which appeals to a younger and more diverse audience. It also comes in various sizes, materials, and colors, making it easy to find one that suits your personal style.
4. Chanel GST (Grand Shopping Tote)
Despite being discontinued in 2015, the Chanel Grand Shopping Tote, also known simply as the GST, remains one of the most popular Chanel bags to date. And it’s easy to see why. The bag’s practical silhouette with the iconic CC logo adorning its front makes it the ultimate tote bag.
Introduced by Chanel around the mid-1990s, the GST is characterized by a convenient silhouette with multiple interior compartments. The chain and leather straps provide a comfortable shoulder carry option, while the spacious interior is designed to accommodate everything you could possibly need throughout the day. The GST was also available in a wide range of colors and materials, with the most popular options arriving in Chanel’s durable caviar leather in either black or light beige.
5. Chanel Mini Flap Bags
Those who adore Chanel but prefer a more compact bags should definitely consider the brand’s Mini Flaps. These charming and stylish creations capture the essence of Chanel’s larger Classic Flaps but in a smaller, more compact form. They also come at a significantly more affordable price point – $4,700 for the Mini Square and $4,900 for the Mini Rectangle, as of October 2023.
Actually, did you know that capacity-wise the Mini Rectangle is very similar to the Small Classic Flap? This is due to the fact that the bag lacks the double flap, which takes quite a lot of precious space. But other than that, the Mini Flaps do retain all the essential features of their larger counterparts, including the quilted design, the interlocking CC closure, and the chain strap and that’s what makes them so wildly popular among Chanel aficionados.
6. Chanel WOC
Introduced in 1997, the Chanel Wallet on Chain has quickly become one of the most popular Chanel bags of all time. Often referred to simply as the WOC, this compact creation is essentially a wallet with a strap, which can be worn in many different ways, incl. as a crossbody.
Perfect for a night out or any occasion when you want to carry only your essentials, the WOC is an ultra-versatile piece that retains all the signature features of a Chanel bag, including the quilted pattern and the iconic CC closure. Not even to mention that the bag is often included in Chanel’s yearly price increases, which makes it a fabulous investment.
7. Chanel Vanity Cases
If any brand can take credit for the current vanity bag trend, it’s definitely Chanel. The brand has released its first ever vanity in the mid-1990s and they’ve since become its signature, released season after season in new variations.
Taking inspiration from vintage vanity cases used by women to store their cosmetics and personal items, Chanel’s vanity bags combine fashion with function. Hence why they are so wildly popular among Chanel lovers. The brand’s Filigree Vanity Case in particular, is beloved by Chanel lovers from all around the world for its detachable shoulder strap, which transforms it into a trendy crossbody.
8. Chanel Deauville Tote
Named after the picturesque French coastal town of Deauville, the Chanel Deauville Tote draws inspiration from the casual and laid-back atmosphere of beachside destinations. Offering a more approachable and easygoing style than other Chanel handbags, the bag has quickly gathered a following among those into more casual and laid-back styles.
A roomy and versatile tote bag, the Chanel Deauville features a robust construction with the Chanel 31 Rue Cambon Flagship address prominently displayed on the front. Its comfortable woven chain and leather straps make it an ideal companion for everyday activities, while its roomy interior can easily accommodate essentials, making it a versatile and stylish choice for women on the go. Chanel also offers Deauville in an array of sizes and materials, incl. leather.
9. Chanel 19 Bag
As you may have already noticed, a lot of Chanel handbags feature numerals in their titles. The Chanel 19 Bag is no exception. Named after the year it was released (2019), the Chanel 19 Bag is essentially a modernized version of the 2.55 bag, designed by Karl Lagerfeld during his final years at Chanel.
The bag is characterized by a softly structured, rectangular silhouette with quilted exterior and bold CC logo decorating the flap. The strap on the 19 is also pretty special, made of a mix of silver, ruthenium and gold hardware.
Bridging the gap between timeless elegance and contemporary style, Chanel 19 has quickly made it into the wardrobes of the world’s most fashionable people. And it remains one of the most popular Chanel bags till this day, offered in an array of sizes and materials season after season.
10. Chanel Gabrielle Bag
The rumor has it that Chanel is on the way to fully discontinue the Gabrielle. However, this in no way undermines its status as one of the most popular Chanel bags of all time.
Released in 2017 and designed by Karl Lagerfeld, the Chanel Gabrielle Bag pays tribute to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and her fearless spirit. The bag is characterized by a distinctive hobo-style silhouette, combining softness and structure. It also arrives with two different straps – a unique aged gold and silver-tone chain, as well as a leather and chain strap, allowing for multiple styling options, incl. wearing it as a backpack.
Modern and versatile, the Chanel Gabrielle Bag perfectly encapsulates the fearless spirit of Coco, allowing anyone who wears it to express their individuality. Throughout the years, the bag was also offered in an array of sizes and materials, incl. quilted leather, tweed, and exotic skins.