Published: July 30, 2020
Close your eyes and picture a luxury designer handbag. What do you see? Chances are, you are picturing a black Chanel flap bag with gold hardware. The black quilted leather, glistening chain strap and iconic CC logo are forever ingrained in our minds as the quintessential standard of luxury.
With so much history and impact towards the culture of high fashion, Chanel and its handbags have defined an era - one that many women want to take part in by owning one.
However, being the standard of luxury fashion, Chanel handbags come with a hefty price tag. How much is a Chanel bag? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular handbag models and break down the price.
1. The Chanel 2.55 Classic Flap Bag ($3,500 - $7,700)
The 2.55 Classic Flap is the brainchild of the late Karl Lagerfeld, who took on the role of Chanel’s Creative Director in 1983, twelve years after Coco Chanel passed. Perhaps his greatest creation, the 2.55 Classic Flap defined nearly all Chanel handbags that came after it.
Lagerfeld’s signature touches - the CC lock and the leather intertwined in a chain strap - have remained a staple of the luxury brand. The other notable features - the diamond quilted leather, the burgundy interior and Coco’s secret love letter pocket - make this bag truly special and iconic.
Being the flagship of Chanel’s luxurious handbag lineup, the Classic 2.55 flap has a hefty price tag - the bag’s retail cost from Chanel boutiques depends on the size and model. The following price chart reflects what you are likely to see in-store:
2. Chanel Boy Flap Bag ($4,600 - $5,500)
Another Lagerfeld creation, the Chanel Boy Bag silhouette and masculine features make the bag an icon of Chanel’s handbag lineup. First launched in 2011, the Chanel Boy bag was another way Karl paid tribute to Gabrielle Chanel’s legacy: the name ‘Boy’ comes from Chanel’s first love story with Boy Capel.
The most standout features of this gorgeous bag are the strap, made of thick and heavy chain with leather, and the boxy, angular silhouette.
Gabrielle Chanel was a tomboy, and loved to contest society’s expectations of femininity with her taste for masculine elements and rebellious style cues. The boy bag is highly desirable due to its history and statement-making abilities. The retail price is accordingly high, depending on the size and model:
On the resale market, which is the best way to acquire these rare and desirable handbags, the Boy can be found starting at around $2,700 for small models, up to $5,500 for the mediums - depending on condition.
3. Chanel Wallet on Chain ($1,300 - $2,700)
The Chanel Wallet on Chain (or WOC, for short) is an instant classic. Following the trend of minimizing handbags, the WOC is the little handbag that could. Small and portable, yet very capable of carrying most of your essentials, the WOC is your perfect little companion for all your travels or nights out. It can fit your phone, wallet, keys, makeup and sunglasses all in one secure and organized package!
What makes it so special, is that unlike the other staple bags in Chanel’s lineup, the WOC is relatively inexpensive, especially on the resale market.
First-time Chanel buyers and seasoned Chanelistas alike will revel in the sub $2,000 price tag. In fact, you can acquire one of these ultra-chic ‘bags’ starting at around $1,300 - still a serious purchase, but far friendlier on your wallet than a Classic Flap.
The standard Wallet on Chain is available in patent leather, calfskin or lambskin and retails at $2,500. While the Boy Wallet on Chain can be found in Chevron leather, calfskin or lambskin and retails at $2,700. Both are excellent options for any occasion, and highly recommended by the luxury fashion community.
4. Chanel Gabrielle Hobo Bag ($3,600 - $4,300)
Another Lagerfeld tribute to the mademoiselle herself, the Chanel Gabrielle, embodies everything she held true. In fact, it was the first Chanel bag to have been marked as unisex fashion. Featuring a relaxed silhouette, and long, versatile strap, the Gabrielle bag could truly be worn by both women and men.
It fits best with a relaxed men's shirt and jeans, or any other shabby-chic outfit. Released in 2017, the Gabrielle hobo was designed to appeal to a younger, more contemporary fashion crowd.
When first released, the community of Classic 2.55 owners were skeptical of the Gabrielle bag’s future, but the bag took off amongst celebs and influencers and is worthy of its place in Chanel’s iconic lineup. Made with Chanel’s finest leathers and hardware, the Gabrielle Hobo commands a serious price tag as well, depending on the style, size and materials:
5. Chanel Reissue 2.55 Flap ($5,800 - $7,700)
Finally, we arrive at one of the most influential Chanel handbags of all time. Gabrielle Chanel first created the 2.55 Flap bag - the bag that started it all - in February of 1955. Featuring the signature boxy silhouette and rectangular “mademoiselle lock” (named such because Gabrielle never married) the original 2.55 was legendary.
However, Lagerfeld’s Classic Flap with the interlocking CC closure became so popular that the original 2.55 was put out of production. In 2005, however, Karl reintroduced the iconic 2.55 in its original form, with the mademoiselle lock, special all-metal chain, and signature angular silhouette. Priced similarly to the Classic Flap, the Reissue retail price depends on the size:
On the resale market, the Reissue Flap Bag typically can be found between $2,000 and $4,500, depending on condition. Both the Reissue and the Classic flap are highly coveted, therefore they maintain their value incredibly well over time. Refer to our Chanel Investment Guide to learn more about the appreciation metrics of these fashion assets.
The resale market is a wonderful place to acquire a gorgeous Chanel handbag at an affordable price. However, the secondary market is fraught with counterfeits. Be sure that you are dealing with a reputable reseller company with an established authentication experience. Chanel is one of the most commonly knocked-off brands in the world, so if you plan on shopping for pre-owned Chanel bags, refer to our Chanel Authentication Guide so you can spot and stop the fakes.