As one of the most prolific designers in the world of luxury fashion, everything about Coco Chanel screams of female empowerment and the intrinsic power of femininity.

Not only do her designs speak to the versatile and ever-changing needs of modern women, but they deliver the kind of timeless aesthetic which defies trend and fashion – and yet still manages to compliment any look, occasion, and wearer.

One of Coco Chanel’s most notorious designs is the Flap Bag, which was originally released as the 2.55 bag (a nod to the date of its release, February 1955). But what is it about this particular bag that has continued to delight buyers for the past 60+ years, and how does the original and reinstated Chanel flap bag define and represent feminine empowerment?

The Story behind the Chanel Flap Bag

The Chanel Flap Bag was originally released in 1955 and was – at the time – the first women’s bag to ever feature a long shoulder strap. Motivated as ever by the need for accessories which bridged function and style, Coco Chanel took inspiration from the men’s satchels used during the war and created a bag which features all the hallmarks of a stylish Chanel original but with a longer strap for hands-free use.

A quilted exterior fabric, chain strap, and the lock mechanism set this bag apart from the rest of the market and generated the kind of demand which pushes this bag into the realm of the versatile, every day, yet still intrinsically stylish and sought after luxury must-have.

Of course, as is so often the case with notable designs and popular products, time brought it with a chance to evolve and update the bag – with the name ‘Chanel Flap Bag’ not really used until the 1980s when Creative Director and designer Karl Lagerfeld redesigned the 2.55 bag for the modern market. His changes were subtle but explored the benefits of different aesthetic finishes, materials, and textures – and also integrated the interlocking CC mechanism into the build and design of the bag.

Since then, both vintage models and more modern iterations of the Chanel Flap bag have grown in demand and therefore in value – delivering a continued commitment to the empowerment of women.

But for now, let’s take a look back at the designer herself and her commitment to feminine empowerment.

Chanel as a Designer committed to feminine empowerment

You need only look at Chanel’s designs and innovative creations to recognise her contribution towards female empowerment – both in trends and in timeless styles.

Coco Chanel was responsible for the creation of the shoulder bag for women. This same bag, the 2.55m also featured handy pockets and additional features that Chanel herself said she needed from a functional but stylish bag – including a pocket for her lipstick and somewhere to conceal love letters from her admirers.

In addition to her bags, Chanel also developed the concept of the Little Black Dress, something that women today still adore and consider a wardrobe staple. She is also famous for creating clothes which fit real women, and which were as practical as they were stylish and flattering. Women’s suits, trousers, sports attire, and other garments and outfits were all spearheaded, supported, and brought to life by and as a result of Chanel’s drive.

How the Chanel brand has evolved alongside the modern woman

The Flap Bag is just one example of how the Chanel brand and product line has evolved alongside its target audience.

As the years have passed, everything from the exquisite craftsmanship to the high quality materials and the connection with status and luxury has put each Chanel flap bag on the map. Every bag which is released is met with exceptional demand, creating an opportunity for resale which is loved by investors and bag enthusiasts alike. Finding an authentic Chanel flap bag is a goal identified by countless women, who recognise the value not just in the bag as a product but in the bag as an intrinsic piece of history. Chanel contributed immensely to the world of style and female empowerment – with the flap bag just one luxury product that you can buy to honour her legacy.