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Chanel Classic Shoulder Bag

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Vintage Chanel Lambskin Jumbo Classic Flap Bag XL Black
By Chanel
Located in Hiroshima City, JP
Vintage Chanel jumbo classic flap bag in excellent vintage condition. Biggest classic in 2.55 Family. This vintage Chanel jumbo classic adds effortless cool to any outfit. Thanks to ...
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1990s Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic shoulder bag in grey Python leather, silver hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Lovely Chanel Classic shoulder bag in grey python, silver metal hardware, silver metal chain intertwined with grey leather for a hand or shoulder. Top closure by press button. Interi...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic shoulder bag in Navy blue quilted lambskin leather, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Splendid and Rare Chanel Classic 25cm in navy blue quilted lambskin leather, silver metal hardware, silver metal chain interwoven with navy blue leather Flap closure, silver CC symbo...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic shoulder bag in beige and coral quilted lambskin with GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Lovely Chanel Classique 25cm bag with flap in beige quilted lambskin leather, edging in coral leather on flap, gold metal hardware, golden metal chain interwoven with beige leather. ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black Pleated Leather Classic Flap Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
STUNNING Chanel black leather classic flap shoulder bag in excellent condition. Pleated black leather upon top flap with diamond quilted leather throughout. gold chain shoulder stra...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap So Classic Jumbo Maxi Black Sequins Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
This Chanel Classic Single Flap Bag Sequins Jumbo, crafted in black sequins, features woven in leather chain link strap, exterior back slip pocket, and gunmetal-tone hardware. Its CC...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap So Classic Jumbo Maxi Black Sequins Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
This Chanel Classic Single Flap Bag Sequins Jumbo, crafted in black sequins, features woven in leather chain link strap, exterior back slip pocket, and gunmetal-tone hardware. Its CC...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Classic Chain Shoulder Bag Black Flap Quilted Lambskin
By Chanel
Located in Takamatsu-shi, JP
An authentic CHANEL Classic Chain Shoulder Bag Black Quilted Flap made of black Lambskin. The color is Black. The outside material is Leather. The pattern is Solid. This item is Vint...
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1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare Small Denim Braid Classic Flap Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Denim Shoulder Bag From the Fall 2018 Collection by Karl Lagerfeld Blue Interlocking CC Logo & Quilted Pattern Silver-Tone Hardware Leather Trim Chain-Link Shoulder Strap Emb...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Beige Leather Chain Stitch Classic Flap Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Chanel Beige Leather Gunmetal Chain Quilted Classic Flap Shoulder Bag in very good condition. Soft beige quilted lambskin leather exterior trimmed with gunmetal hardware and delicate...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black Patent Leather 2 way Classic Flap Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Chanel Black Patent Leather 2 way Classic Flap Shoulder Bag in very good condition. Black quilted patent leather exterior trimmed with silver hardware. 2 separate compartments each w...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Mademoiselle Ligne Striped Top Flap Classic Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Chanel Mademoiselle Ligne Striped Top Flap Classic Shoulder Bag in excellent condition. Black lambskin leather exterior trimmed with silver hardware and woven chain and leather doub...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Brown Leather Maxi Flap Topstitch Classic Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Chanel brown leather maxi flap classic shoulder bag in good condition. Dark brown quilted lambskin leather exterior trimmed with heavy beige topstitching and gunmetal hardware. Singl...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Mini Shoulder Bag in beige quilted suede, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Lovely Chanel Classique Mini Shoulder Bag in beige quilted suede, gold-tone metal hardware, gold-tone metal chain handle for shoulder support Flap closure, snap closure Lining in bei...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Quilted Microfiber Acqua Blue Nylon Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Soft Chanel microfiber acqua flap Year: 2012 Silver hardware Interwoven chain Interlocking CC clasp Interior zipper closure Interior center zippered pocket Strap drop: Single 19" Do...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap shoulder bag in Red quilted lambskin, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Very original and bright Chanel Classic handbag in red quilted lambskin , gold metal hardware, a flat snake chain handle in gold metal allowing a hand or shoulder support Closure wi...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Black Classic WOC Wallet On Chain Shoulder Crossbody Bag
By Chanel
Located in Takamatsu-shi, JP
An authentic CHANEL Black Classic Wallet On Chain WOC Shoulder Bag Crossbody. The color is Black. The outside material is Leather. The pattern is Solid. This item is Contemporary. Th...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Graffiti Limited Edition Runway Newspaper Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Limited Edition Hand Painter Newspaper Graffiti Classic Flap Year: 2016 Aged Silver Hardware 10" W x 2.4" D x 6" H Strap Drop: 9" 1 Exterior Pockets 3 Interior Pockets Made ...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap 2.55 Baby Pink Tweed Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Soft Pink Tweed Vintage 2.55 Double Classic Flap 2005 {VINTAGE 17 Years} Silver hardware CC turnlock logo Double flaps Tweed Height: 7"; Width:10.5" ; Depth: 3" Made in Fr...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Electric Crochet Collectors Blue Cloth Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Classic Flap Electric Crochet Collectors Blue Cloth Shoulder Bag Year: 2014 Silver hardware Interior zipper pocket Interior blue canvas lining Strap drop 11” 6” H x 10” W x 2...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Hidden Mesh Medium Black Sequins Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Classic Flap Hidden Mesh Medium Black Sequins Shoulder Bag This authentic Chanel Hidden Sequins Flap Bag Sequins Medium is an intricate and meticulously crafted piece perfect...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap shoulder bag in Red quilted lambskin, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Splendid Chanel Classique shoulder bag with red quilted leather flap, gold-tone metal hardware, a gold-tone metal chain handle intertwined with red leather for shoulder support . CC ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap shoulder bag in grey quilted leather, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Lovely Chanel Classique flap bag in grey quilted leather, silver metal hardware, silver metal chain for a hand or shoulder. Closure by flap. Lining in black printed canvas, 2 interna...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Vintage Classic Chain Shoulder Bag Black Flap Quilted Lamb
By Chanel
Located in Takamatsu-shi, JP
An authentic CHANEL Vintage Classic Chain Shoulder Bag Black Quilted Flap Lamb. The color is Black. The outside material is Leather. The pattern is Solid. This item is Vintage / Clas...
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15th Century and Earlier Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap bag shoulder bag in black quilted lambskin and gold hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Beautiful Chanel Timeless/Classique handbag with simple flap in black quilted lambskin leather, gold-tone metal hardware, a gold-tone metal chain handle intertwined with black leathe...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Exotic Limited Edition Metallic Grey Python Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Charcoal grey Chanel python skin classic flap with sequin and beads. Year: 2011 Silver hardware Classic CC Closure Interior flap zipper Interior flap Interior open pockets Engraved ...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Single Flap shoulder bag in Black quilted lambskin, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Splendid Chanel Classique Flap bag shoulder bag in black quilted lambskin leather, gold-tone metal hardware, a gold-tone metal chain handle intertwined with black leather for shoulde...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Single Flap shoulder bag in Red quilted lambskin, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Splendid Chanel Classique shoulder bag with red quilted leather flap, gold-tone metal hardware, a gold-tone metal chain handle intertwined with red leather for shoulder support . CC ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic flap bag shoulder bag in beige quilted lambskin and gold hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Splendid bag Chanel Classique shoulder bag in beige quilted leather, gold-tone metal hardware, a gold-tone metal chain handle intertwined with beige leather for shoulder support Gild...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic double flap shoulder bag in brown quilted suede, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Beautiful Chanel Medium Classic double flap bag shoulder bag in brown suede, chain handle Mademoiselle in gold metal allowing a hand or shoulder support CC closure by flap with gold ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Jumbo shoulder bag in embossed metallic lambskin leather, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Chanel Classique Jumbo Flap limited edition shoulder bag in embossed lambskin leather quilted in metallic black and gold, gold-tone metal hardware, gold-tone metal chain handle inter...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap bag shoulder bag in black quilted fabric and silver hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Beautiful Chanel Timeless/Classique handbag with simple flap in black quilted iridescent fabric, silver metal hardware, a silver metal chain handle intertwined with black fabric allo...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Exotic Limited Edition Metallic Grey Python Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Charcoal grey Chanel python skin classic flap with sequin and beads. Year: 2011 Silver hardware Classic CC Closure Interior flap zipper Interior flap Interior open pockets Engraved ...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Cc Laser Cut Metallic Silver Leather Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
CHANEL Calfskin Crackled Laser Etched Flap Gold Silver This stylish flap is crafted of metallic gold and silver repeating Chanel CC logos and trim. The bag features silver chain link...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Rare 1991 Vintage Quilted Black Lambskin Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare 1991 Vintage Lambskin Quilted Classic Flap Bag 1991 {VINTAGE 31 Years} Gold hardware CC Turnlock Closure Texturized stud hardware Classic flap back pocket Quilted Leathe...
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1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black Quilted Leather Jumbo Classic Flap 2.55 Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Rome, Rome
Vintage Chanel 'Jumbo' Timeless Classic Flap 2.55 Bag in black quilted leather. Period/Era: 1994-1996. It features double 'CC' turn lock closure and interwoven chain/leather straps; ...
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1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Braid Quilted Small Black Distressed Lambskin Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Lady Braid Quilted Distressed Quilted Lambskin Small Classic Flap Bag 2006 {VINTAGE 16 Years} Silver hardware Soft diamond quilted distressed lambskin leather Top handle is ...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Resort Blue and White Cotton Blend Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Off white and navy Chanel blue flap with turnlock cc clasp closure Year: 2008 Gold hardware Two interior pockets Navy blue lambskin lined interior Gold bijoux chain 5.5" H x 10" W x...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Rare 1991 Vintage Quilted Black Lambskin Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare 1991 Vintage Lambskin Quilted Classic Flap Bag 1991 {VINTAGE 31 Years} Gold hardware CC Turnlock Closure Texturized stud hardware Classic flap back pocket Quilted Leathe...
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1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Classic Flap White and Black Lambskin Leather Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Vintage Classic Flap White and Black Lambskin Leather Shoulder Bag From the Spring 2011 Collection. White and black leather Chanel Classic Medium Double Flap bag with brushe...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap shoulder bag in grey semi-quilted leather, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
The practical Chanel Classique Flap bag in grey semi-quilted leather, antique silver metal hardware, 1 silver metal chain handle intertwined with grey leather for a hand, shoulder or...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Maxi Flap shoulder bag in blue quilted lambskin, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Rare Chanel Classic Maxi Flap bag in blue quilted lambskin leather, silver metal hardware, silver metal chain Flap closure, silver CC logo clasp 2-compartment canvas lining, 1 zipped...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Confetti Fantasy Charcoal Ultra Grey Tweed Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel charcoal multi colored fantasy tweed flap with large CC logo and turnlock CC clasp closure 2004 {VINTAGE 17 Years} Silver hardware Black lambskin lined interior flap Black gr...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic double Flap shoulder bag in Pink quilted lambskin, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Stunning and Rare Chanel Timeless/Classique Bag with double flap in beige quilted lambskin leather (egg shell), silver-plated metal hardware, silver-plated metal snake chain allowing...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Jumbo shoulder bag in black quilted lambskin leather, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Rare & Exceptional Chanel Classique Jumbo Flap bag in black quilted lambskin leather with 2 white piping on top and back, gold metal hardware, gold metal chain handle intertwined wit...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic XL shoulder bag in red quilted Python, silver hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Classic XL handbag in red Python, silver metal hardware, a silver metal chain handle intertwined with red leather allowing a hand or shoulder strap . Silver metal CC closure on flap...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Red Quilted Lambskin Leather "CC" Rhinestones Flap Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Sheung Wan, HK
- Vintage 80s Chanel classic red quilted lambskin leather flap shoulder bag. Featuring gold toned "CC" rhinestones flap, snap button closure, gold chain with red leather shoulder st...
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1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless/Classic double Flap shoulder bag in black quilted lambskin, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Beautiful Chanel Timeless/Classique handbag with double flap in black quilted lambskin leather, gold metal hardware, a Mademoiselle chain handle in gold metal allowing a hand or shou...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic 2.55 Maxi shoulder bag in red quilted leather, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
The very spacious Chanel 2.55 Maxi bag in red quilted leather, silver metal hardware, 1 silver metal chain handle intertwined with red leather for a hand, shoulder or shoulder strap ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic shoulder Flap bag in black quilted leather and silver hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Very chic and Rare shoulder bag Chanel Classique "31 rue Cambon" single flap in black quilted leather, antique silver metal hardware, a silver metal chain handle intertwined with bla...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Soft Shell Vertical Quilted Jumbo Orange Nylon Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Soft Shell Flap Bag Vertical Quilted Nylon Jumbo is a limited edition piece from the brands' Spring 2012 Collection. Crafted from red orange quilted nylon, this chic bag featu...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless/Classic double Flap shoulder bag in black quilted lambskin, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Beautiful Chanel Timeless/Classique handbag with double flap in black quilted lambskin leather, gold metal hardware, a Mademoiselle chain handle in gold metal allowing a hand or shou...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless/Classic double Flap shoulder bag in white quilted lambskin, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Beautiful Chanel Timeless/Classique handbag with double flap in white quilted lambskin leather, gold metal hardware, a Mademoiselle chain handle in gold metal allowing a hand or shou...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Full Flap shoulder bag in black quilted leather and GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Lovely Chanel Classic Bag full flap in black quilted lambskin leather, gold metal hardware, gold metal chain interwoven with black leather 1 patch pocket at back Flap closure, gold-t...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

RARE Chanel Silver Aged Calfskin 228 Reissue Double Flap Classic Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
RARE Chanel Silver Aged Calfskin 228 Reissue 2.55 Double Flap Classic Shoulder Bag in excellent condition. Gunmetal silver aged calfskin quilted exterior trimmed with silver hardwar...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Striped Classic Flap Velour Velvet Black and White Crossbody Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel velour black and white striped flap 2006 {VINTAGE 16 Years} Silver Hardware Classic interwoven lambskin chain Three pearl charm detail on strap CC turnlock closure Black lamb...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap XL Large Plush Textured Black Microfiber Nylon Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel large plush Chanel textured flap with patent leather detail Year: 2010 Silver hardware Magnetic clasp closure Interior grey microfiber lining Center zippered pocket Patent le...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap 2.55 Reissue Fall 2014 Yellow Tweed Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Gorgeous Chanel Yellow Tweed Classic 2.55 Flap bag from the Fall 2014/15 Collection. This bag has a beautiful yellow color with additional colors include light green, orange, white...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap shoulder bag in black quilted lambskin and gold hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Stunning Chanel Classique shoulder Flap bag in black quilted leather, gold metal hardware, a gold metal chain handle interwoven with black leather allowing a shoulder support Gilded ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Full Flap shoulder bag in beige quilted leather and GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Lovely Chanel Classic full flap bag in beige quilted lambskin (egg shell), gold-tone metal hardware, gold-tone metal chain interwoven with beige leather 1 patch pocket at back Flap c...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

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Chanel Classic Shoulder Bag For Sale on 1stDibs

Find the exact vintage or contemporary chanel classic shoulder bag you’re shopping for in the variety available on 1stDibs. Black is a pretty popular color, but we also have Beige, Brown, Gray and more in stock now. Making the right choice when shopping for a chanel classic shoulder bag may mean looking at versions that date from different eras — you can find early iterations from the 19th Century and a newer version made as recently as the 21st Century, both of which have proven very popular over the years. When shopping for these accessories, you’ll find that there are less available pieces for men or unisex today than there are for women.

How Much is a Chanel Classic Shoulder Bag?

On average, a chanel classic shoulder bag on 1stDibs sells for $3,609, while they’re typically $473 on the low end and $57,000 for the highest priced versions of this item.

Chanel Biography and Important Works

The first Chanel shop was opened in 1910 in Paris on rue Cambon by the young milliner Gabrielle Chanel (1883–1971), who had picked up the nickname “Coco” while working as a club singer. The boutique drew the attention of the Parisian fashion elite who popularized her wide-brimmed Chanel Modes hats. Soon she added a sportswear store in the Normandy resort town of Deauville, where Coco set the tone for her defining sense of style — traditionally masculine garments reimagined for feminine shapes, made from simple jersey fabric.

Effortless and elegant, her designs promoted comfort and grace in women’s wear that had been dominated in the previous century by complicated layers of fabric and cumbersome corsets. She followed this success with a couture house, opened in 1915 in Biarritz. Over the next six decades, Coco Chanel would become a pivotal designer of both fashionable casual wear and Paris haute couture as well as an icon and arbiter of 20th-century style with her bob haircut and pearls.

However, Chanel was not born into a life of glamour. Following the death of her mother, her father left her in an orphanage where she lived until the age of 18. It was there that she learned to sew as well as appreciate the classic pairing of black and white as worn by the nuns. In 1926, she introduced her first little black dress, reclaiming a color that had once been reserved for mourning and working-class women. That same decade, she debuted her perfume, Chanel No. 5, as well as the Chanel suit with a fitted skirt, inspired by the boxy lines of men’s clothing and employing a sporty tweed. 

Chanel closed her fashion operations during World War II, then returned to the industry in 1954 to design for the functional needs of modern women. Structure and wearability endured in all of Chanel’s clothing and accessories, like the quilted leather 2.55 handbag introduced in 1955 with its gold-chain shoulder strap that freed up a woman’s hands. Chanel's collarless jacket reacted against the constricting styles of Christian Dior's New Look, replacing them with a design that was timeless, an instant classic. The 1957 two-tone slingback pumps had a practical heel height while offering a bold statement in the black tip of the shoes.

After Coco Chanel died in 1971, the brand underwent several changes in leadership, including fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who took over as artistic director in 1983. Over the years, the company has continued to innovate, such as expanding into ready-to-wear fashion in 1978 and, in 2002, establishing a subsidiary company — Paraffection — dedicated to preserving the heritage skills of fashion artisan workshops. The House of Chanel still operates its flagship on rue Cambon in Paris, where it all began.

Browse vintage Chanel evening dresses, jackets and more on 1stDibs.

Finding the Right Shoulder Bags for You

Ever since we’ve needed an accessory to carry our personal items when we’re on the go, shoulder bags have proven indispensable. Today, vintage and designer shoulder bags are such a treasured part of fashion history that they even get their own museum exhibitions.

Prior to bags becoming an essential piece of any ensemble for any gender, women wore pockets strung on ribbons as garments that were separate from their gowns, accessible by openings in the fabric. Small handbags and handheld purses were developed before the accessory gained importance as functional and fashionable. Most had more in common with wallets than anything else.

While the bags of the 16th century warranted ornament, such as exteriors embroidered with silver-gilt thread and beads, it wasn’t until the late 18th century and early 19th century that the design and craft of bags had really broadened. Handheld purses were finished with details that were meant to garner attention, and bags were fitted with shoulder straps. A stylish shoulder bag meant that women could tote jewelry, cash and perhaps a decorative snuff box full of tobacco to an evening ball across town.

The early 1900s saw the introduction of gold and silver minaudières. The patenting of these compact bejeweled clutches has been attributed to revered French jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels, and today they remain a fashion favorite. One of Judith Leiber’s innovative minaudières even earned a role in the movie Sex and the City.

A luxury shoulder bag is a work of art with a long, fascinating origin story, and entire brands and fashion lines have emerged around creating the perfect versions of shoulder bags and top-handle bags. For example, the iconic Hermès Kelly bag, which was popularized by actress Grace Kelly, is a widely coveted, collected and often faked entry from the handbag hall of fame. And while vintage Gucci tote bags have their own dedicated fan base, collectors and lovers of luxury are likely familiar with the Dionysus, a pared-down Gucci shoulder bag that manages to make a substantial statement anyway.

Embrace a classic look with a vintage shoulder bag designed by Chanel, Givenchy or Fendi — find yours on 1stDibs today.