Spotlight On: Chanel So Black 2.55 Reissue 226 Double Flap Bag
by Hallam Tweddell ; @hallamtweddell | August 17, 2017
It was back in February 1955 that the first ever Chanel 2.55 classic flap bag was sold. Over 60 years have passed and Chanel’s 2.55 is still one of the most iconic bags to have ever been made.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel comes from the humblest of beginnings, and is now considered a style icon, the mastermind behind one of the most iconic brands in fashion. The tale Chanel told of her childhood usually strayed gracefully from the truth. Her account, naturally, was a touch more glamorous and it also made her out to be some ten years younger. Chanel’s mother died when she was young and her father sent her to live in an orphanage where she stayed until she was 18 years of age. It is thought that this experience inspired areas of her work and there are countless theories about how this is the case.
It was in 1909 that Chanel moved to Paris to design hats for her wealthy friends. For her time, Chanel’s simple designs were a breath of fresh air, different from the more decorated looks of the previous century. A year later she met Boy Capel, her lover, who helped her open ‘Chanel Modes,’ a hat shop at 21 Rue Cambon, Paris.
It was another eight years before Chanel opened a couture house in the now famous 31 Rue Cambon. Perhaps more significantly for the handbag collectors out there, it was in the 1920s that Coco first added a strap to a clutch bag, inspired by the packs soldiers carried during WWI - the first Chanel Flap Bag was born.
In 1955 Chanel introduced the 2.55. Named after its date of creation: February of 1955. Chanel’s original 2.55 bag looked like today’s Reissue bag, with its signature Mademoiselle lock and metal straps.The Mademoiselle lock is an iconic piece of Chanel hardware, which is thought to have been named as such, because Chanel never married.
The story of the icon…
Flash forward to 1983, twelve years after Coco’s death, fashion maverick Karl Lagerfeld has taken over the reigns at Chanel. Karl has been at the forefront of turning Chanel in a multi-billion dollar empire and much of his work has been as original and ingenious as Coco’s.
It is Lagerfeld’s commitment to creating iconic items, like Coco, that saw the birth of what we know today as the Classic Chanel bag, or Double Flap Bag, with the instantly recognisable double C lock.
If this was not enough, we have also seen the release of limited edition items under the reign of Lagerfeld, including the famous So Black. The So Black is not available every season; sometimes you will have to wait for years before it reappears on the runway. It has adorned the likes of the Reissue 2.55, the Boy Bag, Boy Wallets, Wallet On Chain Bags and even the Classic Flap Bag. The bag is called So Black because, well… it is all black. Boasting black leather as well as all black hardware. Black, already a classic choice for Chanel, is taken that step further with the So Black.
Playing hard to get…
Here at Xupes we love a handbag that plays hard to get and we were able to track down a 2.55 Reissue So Black 226 Double Flap Bag from 2014. The 2.55 is sturdy and secure, it’s the perfect size and shape, it opens and closes with grace and it has well organised inner compartments.
The exterior of this So Black 2.55 is comprised of Glazed Calfskin Leather and black metal hardware. The front of the bag features the iconic mademoiselle lock branded with the Chanel name. The lock ensures the highest levels of security for your handbag, whilst not compromising on the style of the piece.
The bag is carried by a black metal chain. You might spot that, unlike the Classic Flap Bag chain which contains leather entwined within the metal, the chain on the 2.55 reissue is wholly black metal and ensures your bag will stand out, as any So Black Chanel bag should.
Practical and romantic…
Inside the main flap of the bag is a small zipped compartment which, believe it or not, was originally created by Coco to store love letters in secret - practical and romantic. Inside the main compartment of the bag you will find a surprisingly spacious interior which has practicality at the forefront of its design. Along the rear inside of the bag you will find two generous pockets to store essential items and placed lovingly between these is a smaller pocket for your Chanel lipstick. This bag really does cover all the bases when it comes to practicality and design.
Along the front outside of the bag is a long pocket, reminiscent of an envelope, which also adds a space to store money and cards in a rush. Overall, the So Black is a bag built with practicality and style in mind.
The So Black is a rare piece that is designed with the history and legacy of Coco, and the modern twist and flare that only Lagerfeld can execute. If you are stuck as to whether the So Black would be the right Double Flap for you, just remember that it was Coco herself who said these famous words: “I imposed black; it is still going strong today, for black wipes out everything else around.”
This particular model is available at Xupes for just £3,999. Visit Xupes.com to view our full range of pre-loved vintage Chanel bags.