The 2.55 Chanel bag

One of the most iconic Chanel bags of all time, the 2.55, was launched in February 1955 (hence the name). It subverted all the conventional fashion rules of the age. It was the first luxury bag for women to come with a shoulder strap — earlier clutches, including those from Chanel, all needed to be carried by hand.

The groundbreaking modification offered new freedom to women, and transformed the way women’s bags were designed. Critics deemed the 2.55 uncouth, but shoppers loved the bag’s practicality.

And practical it certainly was: The chain strap of Coco Chanel’s design could double up and swing from one shoulder, an outside flap pocket was designed to store cash, and the central pouch was perfectly shaped for lipstick.

The 2.55 also introduced two Chanel signatures: the deep burgundy color used in its lining, and the diamond-stitched quilting, inspired by jackets worn by jockeys at the horse races.

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