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Rare Chanel Bag

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Chanel Rare Limited Edition Metallic Bronze Large Brown Gold Boy Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Limited Edition Chanel Old Medium Rare Metallic Bronze Gold Boy Bag Year: 2017 Chanel Dark Brown Bronze Quilted Patent Leather Large Boy Flap Bag Patent Leather in gold Gold Hardwa...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Supermodel Super Rare Quilted Black Patent Leather Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Small Chanel quilted patent leather flap with classic back pocket 2005 {VINTAGE 16 Years} Silver hardware Interwoven chain Interior centered zippered pocket Black nylon interior li...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Supermodel Super Rare Quilted Black Patent Leather Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Small Chanel quilted patent leather flap with classic back pocket 2005 {VINTAGE 16 Years} Silver hardware Interwoven chain Interior centered zippered pocket Black nylon interior li...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare rattan shoulder bag
By Chanel
Located in Capri, IT
Chanel Rare rattan shoulder bag Gold tone hardware Mini flap in excellent condition Measurements: widht 17 cm height 14.5 cm depth 5 cm
Category

1990s Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare White Crochet Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel brand new in box white crochet single flap with gunmetal hardware. Highly collectible Shoulder drop 8.5". Collection 2004/2005. Minor stains inside, please refer to photos. Co...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

  • Chanel Rare White Crochet Flap Bag
  • Chanel Rare White Crochet Flap Bag
  • Chanel Rare White Crochet Flap Bag
  • Chanel Rare White Crochet Flap Bag
H 5 in. W 3 in. L 9.5 in.
New Chanel Black 19 Bag Rare
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel sold out worldwide "19" bag in black quilted lambskin . Combination of satin gold hardware and ruthenium. Plastic still on hardware. Brand new in unused condition.Collection 3...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

  • New Chanel Black 19 Bag Rare
  • New Chanel Black 19 Bag Rare
  • New Chanel Black 19 Bag Rare
  • New Chanel Black 19 Bag Rare
H 6.5 in. W 3.5 in. L 10 in.
Chanel Rare Black Lizard Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel rare black lizard shoulder bag with dangling logo. Collection 2011/2011. Comes with hologram and original dust cover.
Category

2010s Shoulder Bags

  • Chanel Rare Black Lizard Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Rare Black Lizard Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Rare Black Lizard Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Rare Black Lizard Shoulder Bag
H 7 in. W 5.5 in. L 13 in.
Chanel Rare Maxi Yellow Double Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel rare and collectible yellow lambskin maxi double flap with gold tone hardware. Excellent condition, minor signs of wear. Can be worn shoulder or cross body. Store price $9200 ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

New Chanel Rare Quilted Beige 19 Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel sold out worldwide "19" bag in beige quilted lambskin . Combination of satin gold hardware and ruthenium. Plastic still on hardware. Brand new in unused condition.Collection 3...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

  • New Chanel Rare Quilted Beige 19 Bag
  • New Chanel Rare Quilted Beige 19 Bag
  • New Chanel Rare Quilted Beige 19 Bag
  • New Chanel Rare Quilted Beige 19 Bag
H 6.5 in. W 3.5 in. L 10 in.
Chanel 90s Rare Raffia Beige Bucket Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel vintage and collectible straw bucket bag with raffia and beige color leather. Mint condition. Collection 1991. Shoulder strap 20". Comes with hologram, id card and original du...
Category

20th Century Shoulder Bags

  • Chanel 90s Rare Raffia Beige Bucket Bag
  • Chanel 90s Rare Raffia Beige Bucket Bag
  • Chanel 90s Rare Raffia Beige Bucket Bag
  • Chanel 90s Rare Raffia Beige Bucket Bag
H 9 in. W 6 in. L 12.5 in.
1995 Rare Chanel Pink Boston Bowling Tote Bag
By Chanel
Located in Paris, FR
1995 Chanel pink quilted BOSTON bowling tote bag featuring a pink chevron quilted, front black leather logo, top handles. Circa 1995. Please note that vintage items are not new and...
Category

1990s Tote Bags

  • 1995 Rare Chanel Pink Boston Bowling Tote Bag
  • 1995 Rare Chanel Pink Boston Bowling Tote Bag
  • 1995 Rare Chanel Pink Boston Bowling Tote Bag
  • 1995 Rare Chanel Pink Boston Bowling Tote Bag
H 11.82 in. W 5.91 in. L 18.9 in.
Rare Chanel Large Tweed Leather Boucle Jacket Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel rare and collectible large size jacket bag. Can be worn two ways, shoulder and cross body. Mint condition. Collection 2015/2016. Comes with hologram, id card and original dust...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Rare Chanel Vintage Shiny Brown Crocodile Timeless Bag
By Chanel
Located in Paris, FR
OMG so rare. Style of the Mademoiselle bag. It seems it never had been worn. It has an icy brown color. It could be worn as a clutch, shoulder or crossbody. The length of the chain i...
Category

1980s Shoulder Bags

Rare Chanel 90's Black Caviar Leather Briefcase Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel black caviar 90's briefcase with gold tone hardware. Handle drop 2.5. Comes with dust bag, hologram, id card.
Category

1990s Briefcases and Attachés

1980's Rare Chanel Gold Leather Evening Bag Crossbody
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel rare mini gold frame 80s evening bag. Shoulder drop 21". Comes with hologram, id card and original box.
Category

1980s Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black and White Rare Round Chain Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel black and white rare round disc evening bag. Lucite kiss lock clasp. Collection 2002. Shoulder drop 13". Can be worn as a clutch or as a shoulder bag. Comes with hologram...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare NO5 Perfume Bag Clear Limited Edition Evening Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Montreal, Quebec
Rare Chanel perfume bottle bag modeled after the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume. This evening bag is a limited edition, featuring high-quality craftsmanship and materials, gold toned ha...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Evening Bags and Minaudières

Chanel Small Rare Tweed Cream Beige Classic Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel small cream and grey and multi color tweed with large CC logo and interlocking clasp 2004 {VINTAGE 17 Years} Antique silver hardware Interwoven chain Interior center pocket ...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare Vintage Small Denim Quilted Classic Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare Vintage Small Denim Quilted Classic Flap Bag 1998 {VINTAGE 23 Years} Gold-tone hardware Turn-lock in front Classic back pocket Lined in black lambskin leather Interior ...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare Blue Medium Hula Hoop Quilted Lambskin Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Limited Edition Classic Flap Hula Hoop Clutch Tote Bag Year: 2013 Silver hardware Quilted Lambskin Leather Classic CC Mademoiselle turn lock Classic back pocket Jacquard fabr...
Category

2010s Tote Bags

Chanel Small Rare Tweed Cream Beige Classic Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel small cream and grey and multi color tweed with large CC logo and interlocking clasp 2004 {VINTAGE 17 Years} Antique silver hardware Interwoven chain Interior center pocket ...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare Runway 2018 Crystals Minaudières Clutch Crossbody Bag
By Chanel
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
The ultimate in luxurious bag making luxury craftsmanship. The Iconic House of Chanel always provides us with timeless and classic pieces. The beautiful 2018 runway bag takes timeles...
Category

2010s Evening Bags and Minaudières

Chanel Rare Vintage 90's Collectors Drawstring Bucket Tote Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare Vintage 90's Collectors Drawstring Bucket Tote Bag 1993 {VINTAGE 28 Years} Gold hardware CC Logos all around bottom Strap loop through closure Black caviar leather Black...
Category

1990s Tote Bags

Chanel Rare Limited Edition Fringe Brown Embossed Gun Bag Holster Crossbody Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare Limited Edition Fringe Brown Embossed Gun Bag Holster Crossbody Bag Year: 2014 Ruthenium Hardware Brown embossed leather Exterior zip slit pocket Interior fine textile ...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Long Rare Vintage Patent Leather Classic Flap Bag Bijoux Chain Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Small Chanel patent leather quilted flap 2005 {VINTAGE 16 Years} Gold hardware Bijoux chain Two small interior pockets Strap Drop: Single 14.5” Double 8” 4.5” H x 9” W x 2.5” D Mad...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

New in Box Chanel Rare Navy Cruise Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel brand new collectible navy blue fabric cruise flap. Shoulder drop 9"/17". Comes with hologram, ID card, booklet, dust cover and box.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Chanel Bag with Classic Flap Crossbody Rare Enamel Top Handle Black Lambskin Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare Enamel Top Handle Classic Flap Bag Crossbody Same collection (larger size, different color) as seen on Kate Middleton. Very rare limited edition piece. Year 2015 Ma...
Category

2010s Evening Bags and Minaudières

Chanel 1991 Ultra Rare Vintage Waist Belt Bag Fanny Pack
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel 1991 VERY RARE VINTAGE Waist Belt Bag Fanny Pack Year: 1991 {VINTAGE 30 Years} Gold Hardware Quilted leather Thick chain belt Made in Italy
Category

1990s Waist Belts

Chanel Rare Vintage Black Lambskin Waist Belt Bag Fanny Pack
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare Vintage Black Lambskin Waist Belt Bag Fanny Pack Black leather 2002 quilted belt bag featuring a fold-over top with snap closure a signature interlocking CC logo gold...
Category

Early 2000s Belt Bags

RARE Chanel Vintage Black Silk Chain Cage Evening Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
RARE Chanel Vintage Black Silk Chain Cage Evening Shoulder Bag in excellent condition. Black silk inner pouch style inside a woven gold chain and leather square cage. Embroidered CC ...
Category

1990s Evening Bags and Minaudières

Chanel Rare Quilted Embellished Satin Blue Illuminating Medium Classic Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare Quilted Embellished Satin Blue Illuminating Medium Classic Flap Bag From the Cruise 2015 Collection by Karl Lagerfeld Blue Interlocking CC Logo Silver-Tone Hardware Chai...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless Rare Pearl Black Lambskin Shoulder Bag Tote & Minaudière Clutch
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Rare Chanel Timeless Rare Pearl Black Lambskin Shoulder Bag Tote & Minaudière Clutch 2008 {VINTAGE 13 Years} Lambskin diamond stitch Pearl and chains multi straps Grey pinstripe fab...
Category

Early 2000s Tote Bags

Chanel Vintage Tweed Rare Limited Edition Patchwork Small Classic Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel patchwork small classic flap bag Year: 2006 {VINTAGE 15 Years} Denim and cotton stitched patchwork CC eyelet and floral patch details Gold brushed hardware Classic interwoven...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Small Mini Drawstring Bucket Quilted Rare Crossbody Lambskin Leather Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Limited Edition Lambskin Quilted Rare Small Mini Drawstring Crossbody Bucket Bag Year: 2014 Antique Gunmental Hardware CC Logo Feather Charm Classic interwoven micro sized c...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel RARE Black Aged Calfskin Leather Medium Charms Deauville Tote Bag
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Chanel Black Aged Calfskin Leather Medium Charms Deauville Tote Bag Made In: Italy Year of Production: 2020 Color: Black Hardware: Goldtone Materials: Black calfskin leather with met...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Tote 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 30 Years} Gold hardware CC Turnlock Closure Texturized stud hardware Classic flap back pocket Quilted Leathe...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Rare Surf Sport Blue White Red Canvas Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Vintage Rare Surf Classic Flap Sport Bag Crossbody 2001 {VINTAGE 20 Years} Brushed Silver hardware CC turnlock closure Canvas surf print with CC logo CHANEL written in red l...
Category

Early 2000s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Chanel Vintage Rare Beige Caviar Top Handle Classic Kelly Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Vintage Rare Beige Caviar Top Handle Classic Kelly Flap Bag Leather Top Handle CC Turnlock Closure Interior Zip And Slip Pockets Caviar Leather Leather Lining Gold Hardware ...
Category

1990s Tote Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Rare Micro Mini Vintage Gold Sequin & Microfiber Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Classic Flap Rare Micro Mini Vintage Gold Sequin & Microfiber Bag 1990 {VINTAGE 31 Years} Gold hardware Classic interwoven chain CC turn-lock closure Gold sequins throughout ...
Category

1990s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Chanel Two Tone Black and White Flap Bag Rare Limited Edition
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Two Tone Black and White Flap Bag Rare Limited Edition 2006 {VINTAGE 15 Years} Gold tone hardware Resin shoulder chain Mademoiselle re-issue oversized turn lock Lambskin qui...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare Vintage Caviar CC Flap Executive Briefcase Portfolio Laptop Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel unisex vintage large caviar briefcase with gold CC clasp 1997 {VINTAGE 24 Years} Gold hardware Two main interior compartments Interior centered zippered pocket 4 Bottom Prote...
Category

1990s Briefcases and Attachés

Chanel Classic Flap Rare Micro Mini Vintage Gold Sequin & Microfiber Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Classic Flap Rare Micro Mini Vintage Gold Sequin & Microfiber Bag 1990 {VINTAGE 31 Years} Gold hardware Classic interwoven chain CC turn-lock closure Gold sequins throughout ...
Category

1990s Crossbody Bags and Messenger 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 30 Years} Gold hardware CC Turnlock Closure Texturized stud hardware Classic flap back pocket Quilted Leathe...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare Vintage 90s Red Caviar Executive Briefcase Laptop Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel caviar red vintage briefcase with gold CC clasp 1994 {VINTAGE 27 Years} Gold hardware Interior centered zippered pocket 11" H x 14.75" W x 2.5" D Handle Drop 2" Made in France
Category

1990s Briefcases and Attachés

Chanel So Black Vintage Rare Waist Bum Belt Bag Fanny Pack
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel So Black Rare Vintage Waist Belt Bum Bag Fanny Pack Calfskin Year: 2003 {VINTAGE 18 Years} So Black hardware Black calfskin leather Nylon lining Top zippered pocket Interior ...
Category

Early 2000s Belt Bags

Ultra Rare Chanel Trapeze navy blue shoulder bag and gold hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, IDF
CHANEL Trapeze navy blue Leather Shoulder bag Very rare bag. Date: 1989/1991. Made in France with logo detail lock with its hologram inside. One slip pocket inside, big compartm...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare Metallic Mesh Quilted Soft Quilted Lambskin Mini Bag Small
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel black mesh chain soft lambskin quilted tote Year: 2008 Antique silver hardware Mesh chain strap with Chanel engraved on base Mesh print large CC zipper pull Grey satin micro...
Category

Early 2000s Hobo Bags

Chanel RARE COLLECTORS Black Vintage Quilted Satin Micro Flap Bag Necklace
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Chanel Black Vintage Quilted Satin Micro Flap Bag Necklace Made In: France Year of Production: 1990s Color: Black Hardware: Goldtone Materials: Satin Lining: Leather Closure/Opening...
Category

1990s Novelty Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Rare Limited Edition & Lizard Multi-color Brown Fur Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel fur multi color tweed and exotic skin flap with CC logo clasp 2005 {VINTAGE 16 Years} Silver hardware Interior flap lambskin lining Soft graffiti interior lining classic cent...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Black Lambskin Quilted Medallion Fanny Pack Waist Belt Bag Rare
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Vintage Chanel black lambskin quilted medallion fanny pack 1991 {VINTAGE 30 Years} Gold hardware Lambskin lined Adjustable clasp belt with max 40" 4” H x 9” W x 3” D Made in France
Category

1990s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Chanel Vanity Case Rare Vintage Blue Mini Crossbody Black Denim Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare Vintage Denim Blue Mini Vanity Case Crossbody Bag Year: 1996 {VINTAGE 25 Years} Gold Hadware CC Stitched Logo at front Top handle Detachable crossbody strap Zip around ...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vinatage Rare Striped Micro Mini Charm Velvet Crossbody Classic Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Mini striped velour cross body flap 2006 {VINTAGE 15 Years} Silver hardware Three hanging CC charms Interior black nylon and calfskin lining 3" H x 5.5" W x 2" D Strap Drop: 22.5" ...
Category

Early 2000s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Chanel Camera Mini Quilted Vintage Rare Beige Nude Patent Cross Body Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Camera Mini Quilted Vintage Rare Beige Nude Patent Cross Body Bag Year: 1994 {VINTAGE 27 Years} Amazing color for this vintage camera bag / vanity bag. Very rare only one of ...
Category

1990s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Chanel Black Quilted Rare Mini Classic Patent Flap Bag Silver Hardware Vintage
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Black Quilted Rare Mini Classic Patent Flap Bag Silver Hardware Vintage The bag features a light gold chain link leather threaded cross body shoulder strap and a light gold t...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Timeless Bag Rare Vintage 1990's Limited Edition Lucky Charm Black Tote
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Timeless Bag Rare Vintage 1990's Limited Edition Lucky Charm Black Tote Made in France
Category

1990s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Chanel Rare Tweed Lambskin Quilted Mini Beauty Lock Multicolor Black Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
CHANEL Tweed Lambskin Quilted Mini Beauty Lock Flap Multicolor Black Excellent Like New Condition Includes Dust Bag And Authenticity Card Stunning Silver CC Pushlock Black leather w...
Category

2010s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Chanel Classic Flap Rare Quilted Micro Mini Silver Metallic Lambskin Leather Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare Limited Edition 1994 Runway Gold Metallic Quilted Lambskin Micro Mini Classic Flap Bag 1994 {VINTAGE 27 Years} Silver hardware Silver lined interior 1 Interior pockets 4...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Chain Rare Vintage 90's Freshwater Pearl Black White Tweed Lambskin Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
This LIMITED EDITION Mixed Icons bag was a sample and only made in very small quantities. This bag is made from a combination of tweed and lambskin leather with a patent leather bott...
Category

1990s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Chanel Metallic Mesh Limited Edition Soft Lambskin Leather Classic Flap Bag Rare
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Classic Flap With Mesh Chain Black Lambskin Leather Shoulder Bag Year: 2009 Black lambskin leather Ruthenium hardware CC turn-lock with mesh print Single mesh chain strap I...
Category

Early 2000s Hobo Bags

Chanel Vintage Black Lambskin Quilted Medallion Fanny Pack Waist Belt Bag Rare
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Vintage Chanel black lambskin quilted medallion fanny pack 1991 {VINTAGE 30 Years} Gold hardware Lambskin lined Adjustable clasp belt with max 40" 4” H x 9” W x 3” D Made in France
Category

1990s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

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Rare Chanel Bag For Sale on 1stDibs

Find the exact vintage or contemporary rare chanel bag you’re shopping for in the variety available on 1stDibs. Many people prefer Black, but fashion is all about individuality — you can find Brown, Gray and more options on these pages. If you’re looking for a rare chanel bag from a specific time period, our collection is diverse and broad-ranging, and you’ll find at least one that dates back to the 20th Century while another version may have been 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 Rare Chanel Bag?

On average, a rare chanel bag on 1stDibs sells for $5,920, while they’re typically $993 on the low end and $34,329 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.