So I learned a HUGE lesson this past weekend.
I told Danielle I wanted to get a Chanel for my blankety-blank birthday in a few weeks, and she’s been really pushing me towards the Boy bag. I like the little ones that have some oomf to them- a gold trim, maybe hot pink velvet, or an interestingly textured fabric in the center. The plain Boys just do nothing for me. And the bigger they get, the less I like them – on me. I DO like them in photos and on Gigi Hadid. But for myself, I had my mind set on the 2.55- mainly because of the history behind the bag. Honestly, though- I don’t love the bag as much as I love its history. My good friend Noreen said “if you love the history, get a coffee table book about the bag, not the bag!” I mean that would save me 5500$, so may actually be a great idea.
Anyways, even thinking of buying a Chanel has proven to be quite stressful. I already own a “simple” Chanel- the zippered one with the cloth interior they sell at a significantly lower price point. My bag is a beige caviar leather jumbo and I do love it. The classic flap and the 2.5 and the boy bags start over 4k, which on my MPA (major purchase account, interest free for a year) would basically be more than my car payment. I drive a luxury sedan, so I’m not talking inexpensive here. As recommended by a good friend, I decided to visit Haute Seconds, a consignment store in Santa Monica. I was told they have a lot of pre-owned Chanel bags at good prices.
I walked into the store and indeed, right before me, there sat a plethora of used handbags. I’m using the word “used” as opposed to “pre-owned” because most of these bags looked USED. As in WORN OUT. Shapeless lumps of amorphous patinated oxidized leather. It was sad, actually. Nothing against the store at ALL. The women working there were beyond sweet and helpful in making my journey fun. The designer clothing that hung around all looked immaculate and worth a rebirth in the hands of a new owner. And not ALL the bags were bad. In fact, the Louis’ were amazing. The Louis’ looked practically brand new, as did the Gucci’s and the one Hermes (which was still 12k – so that bag better survive a zombie apocalypse). There were two “vintage” Chanel camera bags from 1995 that still looked amazing that I did like, though according to Danielle, the style is dated. Vintage but not classic, unfortunately. I’ve also seen a few Chanel evening bags/clutches from the 1980s that have stayed in great shape.
A little side note- apparently “vintage” is anything 20 years or older. Anything more current is not considered “vintage”, just old. haha.
So what is the point of all this? Don’t buy a brand new Chanel handbag. Not for 5600$ anyways. It appears that pre Millennium Chanel bags were well made, but after- not so much. The newer used bags just didn’t hold up to time. And in my opinion, and I hope I’m not offending anyone, why spend that much on a bag that wont last forever? I mean I was thinking this was a bag I’d leave to my niece one day- the heritage bag.
DO, on the other hand, feel comfortable searching for and purchasing a Chanel made pre 2k – the older the better. I can attest they will not only last longer but they will look better than the more current used ones.
Also- I learned that Louis Vuitton and Gucci still make quality bags. I love and have always loved my Louis Alma. She may not be the most hip or trendy bag, but she’s classic and special to me. So I guess she will be my heritage piece.
Its about Coco, not the bag:
With all this being said, I still have so much respect and admiration for Coco Chanel. She went against the grain and followed her heart. Post mortem, none of the decline in quality could possibly be her fault. The reason I wanted a Chanel bag was to remind me to be like Coco- stay strong, stay true to yourself, contribute to making the world a better place. As per my friend’s suggestion, I think I will get that coffee table book after all.