2.55 — status or investment?
The classic Chanel 2.55 bag is one of those items which has become the dream of many girls in the world. After nearly sixty years, Chanel has not relinquished its position and status, but rather the opposite. It has succeeded in further reinforcing its status as the bag to have.
Shoulder bags existed long before the Chanel 2.55 was introduced, particularly with military uniforms and for doctors. Still, the iconic quilted pattern on the chain and the interwoven leather belt cannot be ignored and made such a splash when it was officially released on February 2, 1955; hence the name of the mysterious model — 2.55. In fact, this bag was first seen at Chanel in 1920!
At the time, a purse on a chain was revolutionary in the world of fashion and, so, Coco Chanel immediately launched them onto the market. The quilted pattern stitched lozenges became the main feature of the house of Chanel, inspired by the jockey jacket and the light-brown suede pillows in the apartments of Coco in Paris. The chain and classic burgundy lining symbolically indicated the red-lining colour of monastic robes and chain, where the men kept their many keys. When the war started, interest in fashion fell, but, in 1955, the legendary bag came back, although slightly modified.
Since then, the bag has gone through about three thousand variations, but the main parts are the same: a small pocket («poche de secret») with a zipper (where, according to legend, Chanel hid love notes) and an outer pocket for money and theatre tickets in the form of the half-smile of Mona Lisa that Chanel often represented in her sketches. In addition, each Chanel 2.55 still has a pocket-valve, closing the contents of her purse from prying eyes. Now, boutiques with Chanel can be found carrying a classical model of the bag, with a rectangular clasp called «Castle Mademoiselle» (mademoiselle clasp); updated by Karl Lagerfeld in the 80 CC clasp version of the bag, with lockable «classic flaps» in the form of a logo of the fashion house. The technology of production of model 2.55 has not changed much over the years.
Each bag is manufactured from a single piece of lamb skin. The cutting of material for the bags is entrusted only to bag masters with experience of more than 10 years. They are able to see the smallest defects on the leather fabric. As well, when the bag construction is complete, at the end of the day, they are inspected by the hands of trained women whose hands have a special smoothness and sensitivity, which allows them to avoid creases. Creating such a bag includes more than 180 complex operations and the final stage is to test the 2.55 bag for any defects as well as for resistance to cold and heat. After all the tests, each bag is given a unique identification number and, on the reverse side, there must always be written «Made in France» or «Made in Italy». Chanel 2.55 is not made anywhere else!
Bag as investment
Today, Chanel 2.55 is not just synonymous with respectability, success and status in society, but also for being a great item for investment.
Since 1955, when Coco Chanel introduced the first bag, «which should be had by every woman», price values have appreciated 22.3 times over (from $220 to $4900). During the same period, the price of gold has increased by 35.5 times. Since 2008, the Chanel 2.55 average price has increased 15% per year and, even though their dynamics do not always outperform gold prices, a steady increase in the cost value of these bags has secured its success in the investment marathon. Over a five year period, the price value of the Chanel 2.55 bag has increased by 224%, while the value of one ounce of gold increased by 155%. It is up to you to decide where to best place your money!