Classic or Contemporary: Deciding Between Vintage vs New Chanel Bags
This page can contain affiliate links – we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using links on this page. This has no extra cost for you.
Which one is better: vintage vs new Chanel handbags? We have the answer!
Chanel is a luxury fashion house that was founded by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1909. Chanel was a pioneering designer who revolutionized the fashion industry with her simple, elegant, and functional designs. She is credited with popularizing the “little black dress” and the use of jersey fabric, which was traditionally used for men’s underwear, in women’s clothing.
Chanel began creating handbags in the 1920s, and these quickly became a key part of the brand’s identity. The first Chanel handbags were made of jersey fabric and were designed to be functional and practical, with long straps that could be worn cross-body. They were also adorned with the now-iconic double C logo, which stands for “Coco Chanel.”
Over the years, Chanel’s handbags have evolved and changed with the times, but they have always maintained the brand’s signature style and elegance. Today, Chanel is known for its wide range of handbags, including classic styles like the 2.55 and the Classic Flap, as well as more modern and edgy designs like the 22 bag. Chanel handbags are considered to be some of the most prestigious and sought-after bags in the world, and they are often seen as a symbol of luxury and status.
If you’re considering investing in a Chanel bag, you may be wondering whether it’s better to buy a vintage model or a newer one. While both options have their pros and cons, there are several reasons why buying a vintage Chanel bag can be a great choice.
9 reasons why it’s better to buy a pre-loved Chanel bag
- Vintage Chanel bags are often more unique and rare. Because they are no longer being produced, vintage Chanel bags can be hard to come by and may not be as widely available as newer models. This can make them more special and coveted, as you know that your bag is (almost) one of a kind.
- Vintage Chanel bags have charm and character. Over time, vintage bags may show some wear and tear, but this can often add to their charm and character. Vintage Chanel bags may also have unique details or design elements that are no longer found on newer models. For example, Chanel’s CC turn lock used to be plated in real gold, which is no longer the case today.
- It can be more affordable. While Chanel bags are known for their high price tag, vintage models may be more affordable, especially if they are not in perfect condition. This can be a great option for those who want the prestige of owning a Chanel bag but don’t want to spend top dollar on a new one. If you want to save on a vintage Chanel bag, try looking at less popular styles such as tote bags or camera bags.
- Vintage bags are more sustainable. By buying a vintage bag, you are helping to reduce the demand for new, mass-produced items. This can be a more eco-friendly and sustainable option, as it prevents the need to manufacture a new bag.
- Vintage Chanel bags may be made with higher quality materials and craftsmanship. While Chanel is known for its high standards of quality, these standards may have changed over time. As a result, vintage Chanel bags may be made with higher quality materials and craftsmanship than newer models. For example, before 2008, Chanel’s clasp used to be plated in 24K gold. This is obviously no longer the case today, even though the price of the classic flap has sky rocketed.
- They may hold their value better over time. Because vintage Chanel bags are often considered classic and timeless, they may hold their value better over time than newer bags. This can make them a good investment, as you may be able to sell them for a profit in the future.
- They are a fun and exciting way to add some vintage flair to your wardrobe. If you love vintage fashion, buying a vintage Chanel bag can be a great way to incorporate some vintage flair into your wardrobe. Vintage Chanel bags can be a fun and exciting addition to any outfit, and they can help you stand out in a sea of newer, more generic bags.
- Buying a vintage Chanel bag can be a way to support vintage sellers and small businesses. If you want to buy a high-end, luxury brand but still want to support small businesses, buying pre-loved can be a great option.
- Older Chanel bags often have a rich history and can be a great conversation starter. You can talk on and on about the hunt you went on to find the perfect Classic Flap from the year you were born. It’s simply a more interesting story than “I went to the boutique and bought it”.
Overall, there are many good reasons to consider buying vintage vs new Chanel bags. Whether you’re looking for a unique and rare accessory, a more sustainable and eco-friendly option, or a way to add some vintage flair to your wardrobe, a vintage Chanel bag can be a great choice.
Here are 6 compelling reasons why buying a new Chanel bag may be the better choice
- New Chanel bags come with a warranty. When you buy a new Chanel bag, it typically comes with a warranty that covers any defects or issues that may arise. This can give you peace of mind and protection against any potential problems with your bag. Read all about Chanel’s warranty and what to avoid doing to void it
- New Chanel bags are in perfect condition. While vintage Chanel bags may have some wear and tear, new bags are in pristine condition. If you want a bag that looks and feels brand new, buying a new Chanel bag is the way to go.
- It’s guaranteed authentic. When you buy a new Chanel bag, it will typically come with authenticity papers that prove it is a genuine, authentic Chanel bag. This can be especially important if you’re planning to resell the bag in the future.
- New Chanel bags may have updated features and design elements. While vintage Chanel bags may have certain charms and character, they may also be missing out on newer features and design elements that are found on newer models. If you want a bag that is fully up to date and includes the latest features, for example having the chip instead of the authenticity card.
- New Chanel bags may come with additional accessories. When you buy a new Chanel bag, it may come with additional accessories such as a dust bag or care instructions. These accessories can help you protect and care for your bag, ensuring that it stays in top condition for years to come.
- You have control about the storage and condition of the bag should you decide to sell. You can decide to keep the box, shopping bag and all the accessories that come with buying a new Chanel bag.
Overall, there are many good reasons to consider buying a new Chanel bag. Whether you want a bag that is in perfect condition, comes with additional accessories, or is eligible for financing options, a new Chanel bag may be the right choice for you.
Chanel Classic Flap : Vintage vs New
The Chanel Classic Flap is one of the few Chanel bags that is produced since almost the beginning. If you want to see the Classic Flap’s price throughout the years – check out the article here.
The medium Classic Flap retails for $8,800, so, it’s no surprise that many are trying to buy the same bag style for cheaper. Vintage Chanel bags are quite similar looking to the new classic flaps, some differences are:
- the vast majority of vintage Chanel bags are made out of lambskin leather
- the CC turn lock used to be 24K gold plated
- the CC turn lock and gold chain will be in a more pronounced shade of gold
- the majority of the vintage hardware was gold
- usually the quilts will be deflated
If you can find a vintage Classic Flap in a good or excellent condition, it’s a no brainer to choose it over a new Chanel flap. It has the same look, for smaller price tag (plus the other benefits we already mentioned)
The most popular vintage Chanel bags
The most popular vintage bags are:
- The classic Flap
- The Jumbo XL
- Chanel Diana Flap
As mentioned previously, the most popular vintage Chanel is the Classic Flap (which is also the most popular current Chanel handbag).
For handbags that are now discontinued, but still very popular as vintage bags, the most sought after are the Jumbo XL flap and the Diana.
The Jumbo XL Classic Flap has quite a different look from the new Jumbo – with its big, bold and bright gold CC turn lock and the more straight flap.
The Diana looks very similar to a medium Classic Flap – the only difference is a leather border across the flap and the fact that its strap is long enough to use it as a crossbody bag.
Read all about the Chanel Diana here
Where can I buy vintage Chanel bags
You can get a beautiful vintage Chanel at your local consignment store, on eBay (we have a whole article about shopping on eBay) or at an online consignment shop – we recommend Fashionphile.
Check out some of our favorite vintage Chanel handbags here:
Are vintage Chanel bags more sustainable?
The beauty of buying vintage vs new new Chanel bags is the fact that it is more sustainable and eco-friendly. You're prolonging the life of a bag and making sure it's still used and loved.
Buying a vintage Chanel bag can potentially be more sustainable than buying a new one, as it helps to reduce the demand for new, mass-produced items. This can help to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry, as it prevents the need to manufacture a new bag using resources such as water, energy, and materials.
However, it's important to note that buying a vintage Chanel bag is not a guarantee of sustainability. The environmental impact of a vintage bag will depend on how it was made, how it has been cared for over the years, and how it is transported and sold. For example, a vintage Chanel bag that was made using environmentally-damaging materials or practices, or that has been shipped long distances, may not be as sustainable as a newer bag that was made with more eco-friendly materials and practices.
In general, buying any item second-hand can be a more sustainable option than buying new, as it helps to extend the life of the product and reduces the demand for new items to be made.
Are vintage Chanel bags better quality?
It is difficult to make a blanket statement about the quality of vintage vs new Chanel bags as the quality of any individual bag will depend on various factors such as the materials used, the craftsmanship, and the condition of the bag.
That being said, it is generally true that Chanel is known for its high-quality materials and craftsmanship, and this is likely to be true of both vintage and new bags. However, it is also worth noting that vintage Chanel bags have had more time to age and may have undergone more wear and tear than new bags, which could potentially affect their condition and overall quality.
Many Chanel afficionados believe that vintage Chanel bags are better quality than newer bags. The reasons for it are the fact that Chanel used to use real gold to plate the Classic Flap's hardware and apparently the bags used to be fully hand made.
It is always a good idea to carefully inspect a vintage Chanel bag before making a purchase to ensure that it is in good condition and meets your expectations in terms of quality. For example, if you're shopping from Fashionphile, they offer free returns, so you can safely purchase and return a vintage Chanel.
What does vintage mean for Chanel?
In the context of Chanel, "vintage" refers to items that were produced by the brand in the past and are no longer in production.
It is worth noting that the term "vintage" does not have a specific, agreed-upon definition, and it can be used to refer to items of various ages. In general, vintage items are considered to be at least 20 years old. However, the specific age at which an item is considered vintage can vary depending on the context and the item in question.
Conclusion: Vintage vs New Chanel bags
So, in conclusion, who won the battle: "vintage vs new Chanel bags"? The short answer is, it depends on you. While many believe that vintage Chanel bags are better quality and have more character than new bags, there are many pros of buying a Chanel bag fresh from the boutique.
There's no wrong decision when it comes to purchasing a Chanel bag, so just go with whatever feels best to you.
Check out also : Is it better to buy a vintage vs a new Louis Vuitton bag?
OUR FAVORITE MAY FINDS