The Chanel Caramel 21P Frenzy – The Race for the Classic Flap is On Again

I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I’m not talking about the color… what I’m talking about is the excitement, the drive, the adrenaline and the the hunt.

It seems, despite initial protests to the contrary, that no one is actually bothered by the huge price increases on the Chanel Classic flap. The fact is that just in the last two years, the cost of the Classic Flap rose nearly 25%. Yes, all I see and hear are people flocking to snatch the 21P collection of colors. And Caramel tops that list… and of course pink.

This euphoric feeling when Chanel new colors are launched is not foreign to me. Indeed, I probably know that rush better than most. Deep in my handbag soul, I am Chanel girl first. I dove deep into Coco’s world with a cornucopia of rainbow-hued flaps. And despite moving over to the Hermes side several years ago, I once again find my attention to orange wandering back to Chanel. My passions for that gorgeous quilted flap heightened again. 

So what is it exactly Monika? Have you become bored with Hermès? Not likely, LOL. 

Or is it that the Chanel game has more oomph to it? The hunt is back… Is this new challenge to find your flap what is enticing me again? Clearly, something is going on with the imbalance in supply and demand for the latest Chanel offerings. 

@tatyinthecity

Maybe it’s the pandemic and decreased production that has caused this shortage. Or perhaps it’s a clever marketing strategy of exclusivity and desire. Either way, even with all of my connections, I have no 21P caramel to reveal. Nor have I secured the two-tone classic flaps that come in candy colors of pink, yellow and blue. 

Rainbow hardware on the Chanel flap I crave.

True, my Chanel touch is not quite what it once was. My amazing sales associate at the Chanel Chicago boutique left her post nearly two years ago. I haven’t been to the store to build a relationship with another. In fact, all of my contacts at the shop are gone. I don’t recognize a soul and the whole store feels very foreign to me. Please understand that there was a time (long before my trip down the orange brick road) when I made weekly visits to Chanel. I would study the new arrivals, the new shades — I knew it all like the back of my hand. But that’s simply not the case anymore. Add to that this horrible last year that kept me away from nearly all retail stores. 

And of course there’s a caviar version that’s driving me crazy. Pink 21P in caviar with light gold hardware @chichappenssss

But let me not digress, I really want to think about this and have you join me. Let’s take an honest look into what’s actually happening. Is the fact that I cannot get the flap that I want in the color that I want part of the allure? Or is it just a passing spell and season of irresistible colors?

Isn’t this one of the things we love most about Hermès? Of course, it’s the beautiful bags, the quota system, the impeccable quality etc etc  But, if we’re really honest with ourselves, a big part of it is —the CHASE. And now if Chanel somehow succeeds at creating that same scheme of scarcity with their magnificent classic flap, will a generation of exclusive flap collectors emerge and will the seasoned collectors revive their love? 

It certainly feels like Chanel is headed in that direction… I mean a classic flap only costs 750 euros less than a Birkin 25 today. Right?
Read: Chanel Price Increases Push the Birkin Premium Down – Here’s How Much

I really started out this article only wanting to share and spread my love for the Chanel 21P classics. However, in the process of typing,  a much deeper question has come to the surface, one I find myself pondering repeatedly as I continue the search for my Caramel flap. I also wouldn’t mind one in pink with the yellow interior and I’ll even take one in light metallic gold. 

Oh Chanel, what have you done to me … again! 

Updating this article with Rose Claire, another highly sought after pale pink, in fact near impossible to find now. Even though it’s from cruise, I am compelled to add here along with the other frenzy colors. I’m so overwhelmed with all this excitement. You must read this article if you love Rose Clair like we do, lol. Read: How I got my special piece from Chanel 21C. 

Update Feb 28th – you must see the new 21S Rose in caviar versus 21C Rose Clair

Chanel 21C versus 21S Rose Clair

Chanel 21S Rose in caviar (top and new) versus 21C Rose Clair in caviar. Photo courtesy @fashion_and_french_fries Click photo to access new 21S color article and more comparison photos.

The top flap is from 20 years ago with 22k gold hardware. Bottom is Rose Claire from 21C – comparison photo is courtesy @dentistwivesclub