While Chanel aficionados bemoan the brand’s immoderate (to say the least) price hikes, they still clamor for the handbags. You might even say that Chanel’s recent price increases – particularly in combination with limited supply and quotas – have revved up demand for some of its most popular items.
From shoppers camping outside boutiques to exorbitant bidding wars on the resale market, Chanel remains the talk of the town. In addition to this though, there’s been a ripple effect on a very specific segment of resale: vintage.
Chanel’s multiple price hikes during the past two years resulted in some customers being out-priced- unable or unwilling to pay up for the latest bags. As a result, they’ve looked for and found alternatives.
In particular, Chanel lovers have turned to the vintage and second-hand market in droves, hoping to score a dream bag at a dream price. The rise of technology and its capabilities have also opened the door to a world of styles and models previously inaccessible by luxury aficionados. Now, Coco staples like the Classic Flap or Reissue often can be found online in addition to consignment stores. Better yet, they’re found in great shape and at a lower price than new-in-store counterparts.
The fabulous finds you can score on the vintage market also align with fashion’s latest efforts towards sustainability. Shoppers now look to recycle and upcycle superior quality preloved items- and Chanel’s got some goodies that have aged like fine wine.
With the vintage market heating up, there is one Chanel style that has caught the eye (and hearts) of fashion lovers everywhere- including us. From its impeccable craftsmanship and 24 karat gold-plated hardware to the classic color, style and leather, this Chanel bag has, arguably, singlehandedly become the darling of the vintage world. What are we talking about? None other than the vintage Chanel Maxi Flap…
The vintage maxi is what we consider a ‘vintage staple’ and a favorite among collectors, and for good reason – it’s the Cadillac of all vintage Chanel bags! From Victoria Beckham to Nicole Richie and others, all you need to do is search for ‘Vintage Chanel’ and this bag will be what everyone is carrying…
With visions of this handbag dancing in our heads, it is admittedly hard to focus on anything without scouring resale and vintage sites every few minutes; hoping to catch a glimpse of one available on the market. No need to fret, though. We provide you with all the info you both want and need on this glorious creation. Ready for a deep dive on all things vintage Classic Flap? Let’s go!
Bigger than most Chanel bags produced today, the vintage flap comes in at a height of approximately 9.8 inches, 13.4 inches in length and is 3.9 inches deep. These measurements are close but slightly larger than the current maxi flap which is 9″ x 12.9″ x 3.9″.
Fabulously utilitarian, the bag is large enough to fit a small laptop or iPad, in addition to your daily essentials. Its size makes the vintage Chanel flap perfect for night and day, work and play…
Making the vintage flap even more dreamy is that it uses hardware Chanel has discontinued. Both the large CC clasp logo on the front of the bag and the interwoven chain straps are 24 karat gold plated! This gives the hardware a rich, yellow gold appearance and is simply a sight to behold. Sadly, Chanel stopped using the 24K gold around 2008, making vintage even more special. It’s the fine details like this, and the focus on high levels of craftsmanship, that make vintage Chanel pieces so appealing. You just can’t get new-in-store bags that match styles like the vintage flap
As luxury status and quality have grown less synonymous over time, and with the rise of a new generation of consumer that champions transparency and originality over newly-minted-from-the-factory luxury, it makes sense that there is an increased appreciation for the “old school” craftsmanship, attention to detail and superior materials.
Additionally, the vintage bags were made in both quilted and chevron stitched lambskin and caviar leather. Just like the current versions. With a little searching you can also find the vintage maxi in alternative materials like suede and fabric.
Classic black leather with gold hardware is the classic (forgive the pun) gold standard on this bag. However, there are other color options including deep chocolate brown, classic beige claire, maroon, and even pink! The bag interior, meanwhile, is the classic wine-red color we’ve come to know and love.
Single Flap vs. Double Flap
One hallmark of current-day Chanel classic flaps is the double-flapped style. The outside flap sports a thin, zipped pocket on its interior (rumored to be where Coco Chanel used to keep her love letters), as well as another interior section. The inside flap, meanwhile, opens to the rest of the main compartments of the bag- lipstick pocket and all.
What’s different about the vintage maxi version is that there is no inner flap. Ok, so maybe you can’t hide letters from your amour. On the other hand, it is easier to access the inside and your belongings. Moreover, without that second, inner flap, the bag interior is more spacious.
As we’ve reported, Chanel’s latest round of price increases makes the Chanel jumbo classic flap cost the equivalent of an Hermès Birkin 25! It is this steady rise in prices that has led many to turn to the vintage market – in pursuit of styles like the vintage flap. Though rare and difficult to find online, the price of this bag is around the $7,000 USD range. In other words, the vintage version costs several thousand dollars less than the new in-boutique models.
Well, there you have it! If you’ve found yourself with a bunch of search tabs open while reading our article, don’t worry – we don’t blame you. Frankly, we’d be lying if we didn’t’ say we found ourselves doing the exact same thing while writing it!
The vintage Chanel maxi flap is more than just a bag, it is truly a work of art. We can’t help but wonder, as popularity grows for vintage pieces such as this, how will Chanel’s current customer-base be affected? Is this only the tip of the iceberg for the vintage market? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, here’s to continuing to fawn over the vintage maxi flap, and to one day sporting it ourselves (fingers crossed)…
So, tell us- will we be vying for a vintage flap? Or are you sticking to new? Let us know.