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Chanel Medium Shoulder Bag

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Chanel Lax Shoulder Bag Vertical Quilted Leather Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Good. Odor in interior. Creasing, wear and heavy scuffs on exterior and shoulder pads, moderate wear on opening corners and shoulder pad bases, nick on rear shoulder pad. ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Logo Zip Shoulder Bag Caviar Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Damaged. Odor in interior. Repainted exterior and handles. Cracking and peeling on handle bases, bubbling on interior trim, scratches, tarnish and discoloration on hardwar...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Slit Pocket Shoulder Bag Quilted Lambskin Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Very good. Minor wear on base corners, opening corners and handles, creasing, scuffs and small indentations on exterior. Wear and small marks in interior, small glue stain...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Square CC Charm Shoulder Bag Quilted Nylon Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Fair. Odor in interior. Marks and wear on exterior, moderate wear and discoloration on base corners, scuffs and creasing on base. Light wear in interior, scratches and tar...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary 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 Vintage Front Pocket Logo Shoulder Bag Stitched Suede Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Very good. Odor in interior. Wear, discoloration and pilling on exterior and handles, scuffs in interior, scratches on hardware. Accessories: Dust Bag Measurements: Handle...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL brown nubuck suede NATURAL BEAUTY MEDIUM FLAP Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Zürich, CH
100% authentic Chanel Natural Beauty Medium Flap Bag in light brown quilted nubuck leather featuring silver-tone hardware and an open pocket at the back. Opens with a classic CC turn...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Bicolor Medium Boy Chain Flap Shoulder Bag Black Gold
By Chanel
Located in Takamatsu-shi, JP
An authentic CHANEL Bicolor Medium Boy Flap Chain Shoulder Bag Black Gold. The color is Black. The outside material is Leather. The pattern is Solid. This item is Contemporary. The y...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL 2.55 Double Flap Medium Chain Shoulder Bag Lambskin Black
By Chanel
Located in Takamatsu-shi, JP
An authentic CHANEL 2.55 Classic Double Flap Medium Chain Shoulder Bag Black made of black Lambskin. The color is Black. The outside material is Leather. The pattern is Solid. This i...
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1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL 2.55 Double Flap Medium Chain Shoulder Bag Lambskin Black
By Chanel
Located in Takamatsu-shi, JP
An authentic CHANEL 2.55 Classic Double Flap Medium Chain Shoulder Bag Black made of black Lambskin. The color is Black. The outside material is Leather. The pattern is Solid. This i...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL 2.55 Double Flap Caviar Medium Chain Shoulder Bag Black
By Chanel
Located in Takamatsu-shi, JP
An authentic CHANEL 2.55 Classic Double Flap Caviar Medium Chain Shoulder Bag Black. The color is Black. The outside material is Leather. The pattern is Solid. This item is Contempor...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Purple Gray Black Tweed Gunmetal Evening Medium Shoulder Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
Pre-Owned Vintage Condition From 2004 Collection Tweed Gunmetal Silver Hardware Leather Lining Measures 9.75" W x 6" H x 2.75" D Shoulder Strap Drop 16.5" Includes Authenticity Card,...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Airline Shoulder Boston Bag Printed Nylon Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Very good. Odor in interior. Creasing on exterior, wear on handles, opening trim and in interior, scratches and tarnish on hardware. Accessories: Authenticity Card, Dust B...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Zip Shoulder Bag Chevron Caviar Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Good. Odor in interior. Moderate wear, creasing and scuffs on exterior, handles and in interior, scratches, discoloration and tarnish on hardware. Accessories: No Accessor...
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21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless double flap Medium Shoulder bag in beige quilted leather, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Beautiful Chanel Timeless/Classique handbag with double flap in beige quilted lambskin leather, gold-tone metal hardware, a golden metal chain handle intertwined with beige leather a...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless double flap Medium Shoulder bag in brown quilted leather, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Beautiful Chanel Timeless Medium handbag with double flap in dark brown quilted lambskin leather, gold metal hardware, a golden metal chain handle intertwined with brown leather allo...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless Medium double flap Shoulder bag in Pink quilted lambskin, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Stunning Chanel Timeless Medium 25cm shoulder bag double flap in pink quilted lambskin leather , silver metal hardware, a silver metal chain handle intertwined with pink leather allo...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless double flap Medium Shoulder bag in beige quilted leather, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Beautiful Chanel Timeless/Classique handbag with double flap in beige quilted lambskin leather, gold-tone metal hardware, a golden metal chain handle intertwined with beige leather a...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless Medium double flap Shoulder bag in Red quilted leather, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
Gorgeous Chanel Timeless Medium Bag with double flap in bright red quilted lambskin leather, gold-tone metal hardware, gold-tone metal chain intertwined with red leather for shoulder...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black Quilted Leather and Python Urban Mix Medium Flap Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Torre Del Greco, IT
The Chanel Black Quilted Leather and Python Urban Mix Flap Shoulder Bag features a lovely shape, with dark calfskin leather and gorgeous python skin front flat pocket. Leather/chain ...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Logo Shoulder Bag Leather Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Very good. Wear on base corners, moderate scuffs and creasing on exterior and underneath flap. Minor scuffs on strap and interior opening trim, scratches on hardware. Acce...
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21st Century and Contemporary Hobo Bags

Chanel Ultra Rare Vintage 90s Black Velvet CC Small Medium Tote Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Ultra Rare Vintage 90s Black Velvet CC Small Medium Tote Shoulder Bag 1991 {VINTAGE 31 Years} Black velvet Lined black lambskin leather Gold-tone hardware CC Logo Ball Charm...
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1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy medium shoulder bag in white/Pink Tweed & white patent leather, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
The iconic shoulder bag Chanel Boy old medium limited edition shoulder bag in white patent leather and Tweed pink and white, silver metal hardware, an adjustable chain handle in silv...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Limited Edition Chanel Boy Old medium shoulder bag in red embossed leather, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
The iconic Chanel Boy old medium limited edition shoulder bag in red embossed leather, trimmed in ruthenium metal, an adjustable ruthenium metal chain handle allowing a shoulder or ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy Old medium shoulder bag in navy blue quilted leather, silver hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
LIMITED EDITION IN LEATHER & TWEED Splendid & Rare shoulder bag Chanel Boy old medium in orange leather with tweed stitched with small chains, hardware in aged silver metal (gun bar...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Just Mademoiselle Bag Quilted Caviar Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Great. Creasing and minor wear on exterior and in interior, scratches on hardware. Accessories: Authenticity Card, Dust Bag Measurements: Handle Drop 7.5", Height 7", Widt...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Multicolored Tweed Reissue Medium Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Palm Beach, FL
This authentic Chanel Multicolored Tweed Reissue Flap Bag is in excellent plus condition. The Reissue in tweed is lovely and sophisticated in a spectacular fusion of color. Black,...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Just Mademoiselle Bag Quilted Caviar Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Great. Minor wear and small nick on base corners, creasing on exterior, light wear in interior, scratches on hardware. Accessories: Dust Bag, Authenticity Card Measurement...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Vintage Black Lambskin Diamond Evening Shoulder Medium Camera Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
Pre-Owned Vintage Condition From 1994 Collection Lambskin Leather Gold Tone Hardware Leather Lining Measures 9" W x 7" H x 3" D Shoulder Strap Drop 17.5" Includes Authenticity Card a...
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Late 20th Century Shoulder Bags

Chanel Medium Burgundy Python & Quilted Leather Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in London, GB
Chanel Medium Burgundy Python & Quilted Leather Shoulder Bag - Classic style with signature brand DNA - Crafted from deep burgundy quilted leather, with a tonal Python front pocket ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Hobo Bags

Chanel Black Leather Gold Medium Double Evening Shoulder Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
Leather Leather lining Gold tone hardware Date code present Made in France Shoulder strap drop 15.5" Measures 10" W x 6.75" H x 2.5" D Includes authenticity card and dust bag 100% a...
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21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy Flap Bag Quilted Lambskin Old Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Fair. Odor in interior. Heavy wear, discoloration, oil slick discoloration, scuffs and indentations on exterior, shoulder pad and underneath flap, wear and small marks in ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy Flap Bag Quilted Lambskin Old Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Very good. Odor throughout. Moderate wear on exterior corners, faint scuffs underneath flap, scratches on hardware. Accessories: Authenticity Card, Box Measurements: Handl...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Reverso Boy Flap Bag Calfskin New Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Good. Odor in interior. Touch up on exterior edges. Moderate wear and discoloration on exterior corners, flap edges and strap, creasing and indentations on exterior. Stain...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy Flap Bag Quilted Lambskin Old Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Fair. Wear on exterior, shoulder pad and in interior, creasing and scuffs on exterior and underneath flap, bubbling on shoulder pad. Moderate discoloration in interior, sc...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Tweed Petals Camellia Flap Bag Patent Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Good. Fraying on front embellishment edges, minor wear and marks on exterior. Moderate scuffs and creasing underneath flap and on interior opening trims, scratches on hard...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy Flap Bag Quilted Lambskin Old Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Good. Scuffs on exterior and underneath flap, moderate wear on exterior, flap edges and in interior. Peeling on flap edge, indentations underneath flap, marks in interior,...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy Flap Bag Braided Sheepskin New Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Very good. Wear on base and flap corners, creasing, scuffs and oil slick discoloration underneath flap. Minor wear in interior, scratches and discoloration on hardware. Ac...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Emerald Green Alligator Medium Classic Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Palm Beach, FL
This authentic Chanel Emerald Green Alligator Medium Classic is in pristine condition. The Timeless Classic is elevated to new heights in this rare exotic version. Deep emerald gree...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Red Alligator Exotic Leather Silver Evening Medium Shoulder Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
Pre-Owned Condition From 2014 Collection Alligator Silver Tone Hardware Measures 10.25" W x 6" H x 2.5" D Shoulder Strap Drop 17" Includes Dust Bag 100% Authenticity Guaranteed by NE...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless Black Medium Double Flap Quilted Lambskin Shoulder Bag, 2019.
By Chanel
Located in Banner Elk, NC
Chanel Timeless Black Medium Double Flap Quilted Lambskin Shoulder Bag with Gold Hardware, 2019. The iconic Chanel bag was originally issued by Coco Chanel in February 1955 which bec...
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2010s Shoulder Bags

CHANEL NEW Silver Glitter Caviar Leather Silver Medium Flap Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
New Condition From 2021 Collection Caviar Leather Silver Hardware Leather Lining Measures 10" W x 6" H x 2.5" D Shoulder Strap Drop 23.75" Includes Dust Bag and Box 100% Authenticit...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Black Caviar Vertical Quilted Gold Evening Shoulder Medium Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
Pre-Owned Vintage Condition From 1994 Collection Caviar Leather Gold Tone Hardware Leather Lining Measures 9.75" W x 6" H x 2.75" D Shoulder Strap Drop 20" Includes Box 100% Authent...
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Late 20th Century Shoulder Bags

Chanel Small Gold Reissue Classic Small Medium Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Whipstitch Flap Bag Metallic gold reissue quilted leather medium-small Chanel bag with gunmetal hardware, contrast fabric whipstitch trim throughout, dual leather and chain-...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy Flap Bag Chevron Wrinkled Lambskin Old Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Great. Creasing on sides and underneath flap, moderate scuffs underneath flap, scratches on hardware. Accessories: Dust Bag, Authenticity Card Measurements: Handle Drop 12...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Double Flap Bag Tweed and Ribbon Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Very good. Light odor in interior. Indentations on interior flap, minor discoloration underneath flap, wear on strap, scratches on hardware. Accessories: Authenticity Card...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL black leather VIP MEDIUM SHOPPING Bag Iridescent Calfskin
By Chanel
Located in Zürich, CH
100% authentic Chanel VIP Medium Shopping Bag in black iridescent smooth quilted calfskin with a hard bottom. Embellished with CC silver-tone metal charm and classic chain-link shou...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black Calf Hair COCO Medium Double Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Palm Beach, FL
This authentic Chanel Black Calf Hair COCO Double Flap Bag is in pristine condition. Perfectly scaled in the medium silhouette, this unique take on the double flap is a beautiful ad...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy Flap Bag Quilted Perforated Lambskin New Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Good. Odor in interior. Creasing on exterior, moderate wear on exterior edges, shoulder pad and underneath flap. Heavy wear on base corners and side flap edges, scratches ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Beige Lizard Medium Classic Double Flap Vintage Bag
By Chanel
Located in Palm Beach, FL
This authentic Chanel Beige Lizard Medium Classic Flap is in excellent vintage condition. It has enjoyed a previous life and may have some small imperfections. Lizard is a highly co...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Ivory Cream Caviar Leather CC Gold Evening Medium Shoulder Camera Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
Pre-Owned Vintage Condition From 1996 Collection Caviar Leather Gold Tone Hardware Leather Lining Measures 9.75" W x 6" H x 2.75" D Shoulder Strap Drop 20" Includes Authenticity Card...
Category

Late 20th Century Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Beige Tan Nude Caviar Leather CC Gold Medium Shoulder Camera Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
Pre-Owned Vintage Condition From 1996 Collection Caviar Leather Gold Tone Hardware Leather Lining Measures 9" W x 6.75" H x 2.5" D Shoulder Strap Drop 19.25 " Includes Authenticity...
Category

Late 20th Century Shoulder Bags

CHANEL NEW Blue White Ombre Lambskin Leather Hardware Medium Flap Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
New Condition From 2021 Collection Lambskin Leather Silver Hardware Leather Lining Measures 10" W x 6" H x 2.5" D Shoulder Strap Drop 16.75" Includes Dust Bag and Box 100% Authentic...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Black Denim Canvas Gold Hardware Medium Classic Evening Shoulder Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
Pre-Owned Vintage Condition From 1999 Collection Denim Canvas Leather Lining Gold Tone Hardware Measures 9.75" W x 6.25" H x 2.5" D Shoulder Strap Drop 16" Includes Dust Bag and Box ...
Category

Late 20th Century Shoulder Bags

Chanel Red Lambskin Stripe Diana Medium Vintage Classic Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel red Lady Diana Medium Classic Bag 1993 {VINTAGE 29 Years} Vintage red lambskin leather with gold hardware and classic cc interlocking clasp closure Beige lambskin interior li...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black Medium Crochet Nature Tweed Fringe Classic Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Black Medium Crochet Nature Tweed Fringe Classic Flap Bag circa 2008-2009 black cotton/silver-plated metal concealed magnetic fastening signature interlocking CC logo cha...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black Quilted Patent Leather Medium Classic Double Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
CHANEL Black Quilted Patent Leather Medium Classic Double Flap Bag Xupes Reference: HB4056 Serial Number: 14222124 Age (Circa): 2011 Authenticity Details: Serial Sticker (Made in F...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Green Lambskin Leather & Goat Fur Medium Le-Boy Bag
By Chanel
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
"CHANEL Green Lambskin Leather & Goat Fur Medium Le-Boy Bag Xupes Reference: CB412 Serial Number: 21309730 Age (Circa): 2015 Accompanied By: Chanel Box, Dust Bag, Care Booklet Authe...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Boy Flap Bag Quilted Goatskin with Patent New Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Good. Odor in interior. Creasing on exterior and shoulder pad, moderate wear on base and flap edges, indentations on and underneath flap. Wear, scuffs and marks underneath...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Running Chain Around Camera Bag Quilted Crumpled Calfskin Medium
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Condition: Very good. Moderate creasing on exterior, minor wear and darkening on base corners, small scuffs on opening trim. Light wear in interior, scratches on hardware. Accessorie...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

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Chanel Medium Shoulder Bag For Sale on 1stDibs

Find the exact vintage or contemporary chanel medium shoulder bag you’re shopping for in the variety available on 1stDibs. If you’re looking for an option in Black and you’re unable to find the right fit, there are plenty of variations in Beige, Gray and more. You’re likely to find the perfect chanel medium shoulder bag among the distinctive accessories we have available, which includes versions made as long ago as the 19th Century as well as those produced as recently as the 21st Century. There aren’t many items for men if you’re seeking these accessories, as most of the options available are for women and unisex.

How Much is a Chanel Medium Shoulder Bag?

The price for a chanel medium shoulder bag starts at $290 and tops out at $48,000, and on average, selling for $3,213.

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.