Chanel Quality Issues – Has Chanel’s Quality Gone Downhill?
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Chanel is a luxury fashion brand that has been around for over a century. Founded by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1909, the brand has long been known for its high-quality clothing, accessories, and fragrances. However, in recent years, there have been some concerns about the quality of Chanel’s products. Some people claim that the brand’s quality has decreased over time, while others argue that it remains just as high as it has always been.
Typical Chanel Quality Issues
There are a few things that we see repeatedly when talking about Chanel’s declining quality:
First of all, we have to say that the issues with Chanel’s leather quality are mostly seasonal. Meaning that there can be new “issues” depending on the specific collection that you’re buying. Usually it does not impact all bags of the seasons, but certain production batches. The most common Chanel leather quality issues are:
- the dullness of the caviar leather. For certain batches, the caviar appears dull and “flat”
- caviar peeling – in more extreme cases some have reported peeling caviar leather
- leather imperfections such as small bumps or irregularities, especially for smooth, lambskin leather
For some bags, the stitching can be either too tight, too loose or crooked. If you notice any loose threads, ask your SA to show you a different bag.
Especially when talking about Chanel Classic Flaps, alignment is a very important part. The quilts need to align both from the front flap to the rest of the bag and at the back, the pocket’s quits need to align as well.
In the past, it used to be a dead giveaway of a counterfeit Chanel handbag. However, lately there have been more and more reports of misalignment even for bags bought straight from the Chanel boutique.
The biggest Chanel quality issue when talking about hardware is discoloration, especially for gold toned hardware. This doesn’t typically happen immediately, but with use. The issue is that Chanel used to use 24K gold to plate its hardware – so vintage bags actually sees less tarnishing than newer bags.
We would say that it’s reasonable to expect some tarnishing if using a handbag continuously over a very long period (3+ years). However, now people are reporting discoloration over a few months, which is obviously not ideal.
Bags falling apart
In the more extreme scenarios, we have bags that have multiple quality issues, basically unforgivable for handbags retailing for over $5000 USD. The Chanel 22, which is Chanel’s newest classic bag has recently received a great deal of criticism over their quality.
Arguments that Chanel’s quality is getting worse
The brands’ astronomic growth led to decrease in its quality
One argument for the decline in Chanel’s quality is that the brand has grown significantly in popularity over the years. As it has become more mainstream, some people believe that the company has had to compromise on the quality of its products in order to meet the increased demand.
This theory is supported by the fact that, as a luxury brand, Chanel’s products come with a high price tag. It is possible that the brand has had to cut corners in order to keep prices high while still meeting the increased demand for its products.
There have also been a number of reports of various issues with Chanel products. In some cases, these issues have been attributed to a decline in the quality of materials used by the brand. For example, some people have claimed that the leather used in Chanel’s bags is not as high quality as it once was, leading to issues with durability.
Outsourcing the manufacturing
Another potential cause of a decline in quality could be changes in the manufacturing process. As the brand has grown and expanded, it is possible that it has had to outsource some of its production to other companies. While outsourcing can help brands meet increased demand, it can also lead to a decline in quality if the outsourced companies do not adhere to the same standards as the brand itself.
Buying Pre-Loved Chanel Bags
Since buying new does not shield you from Chanel’s quality issues – why not try pre-loved? The only thing to keep in mind is checking the description and pictures thoroughly. However, you can always return it if the bag has any quality issues.
Arguments that Chanel’s quality is still good
On the other hand, there are those who argue that Chanel’s quality has not declined at all. These people point out that the brand is still known for its luxurious materials and attention to detail. They argue that any issues with the quality of Chanel’s products are isolated incidents and that the brand as a whole is still producing high-quality items.
With social media consumption at an all time high, it’s easy to see Chanel’s quality issues, but maybe that was the case 20 years ago, we just had fewer outlets to complain.
Expectations are too high?
It is also worth considering the fact that, as a luxury brand, Chanel’s products are designed to be exclusive and high-end. As a result, some people may expect more from the brand’s products than they would from a lower-priced brand. This could lead to higher standards and a greater likelihood of dissatisfaction if those standards are not met.
Conclusion: Chanel quality issues debate
Ultimately, it is difficult to say definitively whether or not Chanel’s quality has declined over time. Some people are satisfied with the brand’s products, while others have had issues with their quality. It is possible that the brand’s quality has declined somewhat in recent years, but it is also possible that any issues are isolated incidents and that the brand’s overall quality remains high.
It is important to keep in mind that, as with any brand, there will always be some level of variability in the quality of a company’s products. Even the most highly regarded brands will have some customers who are not satisfied with their purchases.
Our recommendation is to closely inspect the bag in the boutique (if you’re buying new) or to choose a platform that allows returns. That way, if you’re not completely satisfied with your bag’s quality you can simply return it.