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Rare Chanel

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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

Rare Chanel Gold Gripoix Bracelet
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Rare Chanel Gold Gripoix Bracelet in perfect condition. Matte gold with deep maroon glitter gripoix inlayed beads. Pin lock hinge allows for easy dressing. Chanel signature pictured....
Category

2010s More Bracelets

RARE Chanel Guitar Case Runway Piece
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Rare Chanel white leather guitar case. excellent condition from spring 2009 runway show. cream quilted leather exterior with silver hardware and matching adjustable shoulder strap. f...
Category

Early 2000s Novelty Bags

New Rare Chanel Shearling Gray Black Ear Muffs
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
These super rare Chanel ear muffs will keep your ears warm when you're on the slopes. They're made of shearling and colored in grey. But sides show a big double black CC logo. The pi...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Other

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

Vintage RARE CHANEL CC Medallion Zippered Pencil Skirt
By Chanel Boutique, Chanel
Located in Kingersheim, Alsace
Vintage RARE CHANEL CC Medallion Zippered Pencil Skirt Measurements taken laid flat, please double waist and hips: Waist: 13 inches Hips: 18.5 inches Length: 29.5 inches Features: ...
Category

20th Century Skirts

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

Chanel Vintage Rare "CHANEL PARIS" Sunglasses As Seen On Rihana MINT
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Chanel rare vintage sunglasses. Mint condition. Seen on Rihana in white .Chanel Paris printed on the lenses. They look amazing on . No scratches or any noticeable flaws.Original box...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Sunglasses

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

Vintage RARE CHANEL Coat Hanger Pearl Drop Novelty Earrings
By Chanel
Located in Kingersheim, Alsace
Vintage RARE CHANEL Coat Hanger Pearl Drop Novelty Earrings. Measurements: Height: 3.14 inches (8 cm) Length: 2.44 inches (6.2 cm) Weight per Earring: 21 grams Spotted on Kelly Osb...
Category

20th Century Dangle Earrings

Materials

Gold Plate

Rare Chanel Python Leather 2000 Runway Top & Pants Ensemble
By Chanel
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Resurrection is excited to offer a vintage Chanel leather ensemble featuring a cropped sleeveless top with a silver metal CHANEL logo disc, and center back zipper. The matching pants...
Category

Early 2000s Trouser Pant Suits

Rare Chanel Lesage Fitted Purple Tweed Chain Trimmed Jacket
By Chanel
Located in Switzerland, CH
A truly special piece! Chanel signature jacket Designed by Karl Lagerfeld Beautiful purple tweed fabric by Maison Lesage Chain trimming details Two front pockets Fitted style CC logo...
Category

1990s Jackets

Rare Vintage Chanel Bracelet
By Chanel
Located in Paris, FR
Rare vintage Chanel bracelet. Has been done between 1970-1980. Gold toned, in very good condition. Length: 22 cm. Diameter of a sphere is 2 cm, and the charm is 3 cm. Made In France....
Category

Vintage 1970s Charm Bracelets

Materials

Gilt Metal

  • Rare Vintage Chanel Bracelet
  • Rare Vintage Chanel Bracelet
  • Rare Vintage Chanel Bracelet
  • Rare Vintage Chanel Bracelet
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L 8.67 in.
Rare Chanel Vintage 1990’s Purple Gripoix & Faux Pearl Statement Necklace
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Rare Chanel Vintage 90’s Purple Gripoix & Faux Pearl Statement Necklace Made In:France. Year of Production: 1990s Color: Purple Gripoix & Faux Pearl Materials: Gripoix & faux pearl ...
Category

1990s Choker Necklaces

Rare Chanel 1938 Revival Flower Parure
By Maison Gripoix for Chanel
Located in Riverdale, NY
Rare and important Chanel Maison Gripoix Flower Parure referred to as "Bijoux de Fleurs" when first shown in in 1938 and illustrated in Harpers Bazaar in the same year. Our example w...
Category

1990s Revival Drop Necklaces

Materials

Gold Plate, Bronze, Enamel, Gilt Metal

  • Rare Chanel 1938 Revival Flower Parure
  • Rare Chanel 1938 Revival Flower Parure
  • Rare Chanel 1938 Revival Flower Parure
  • Rare Chanel 1938 Revival Flower Parure
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W 4 in. L 22.50 in.
Rare Chanel 1990s’s Vintage Blue Gripoix & Faux Pearl Statement Necklace
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Rare Chanel 70’s Vintage Blue Gripoix & Faux Pearl Statement Necklace Made In: France Year of Production: 1990’s Color: Blue Materials: Gripoix and faux pearl Hallmarks: Chanel stam...
Category

1990s Beaded Necklaces

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

Ultra Rare Chanel handbag in blue passementerie and gold hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, Paris
Very Rare trapezoidal CHANEL bag in royal blue passementerie, gold metal hardware, blue braided passementerie handle for a handheld Flap closure with gold metal CC Blue leather inter...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Top Handle Bags

Rare Chanel Limited Edition 2004 Cigarette Black Lambskin Leather Clutch
By Chanel
Located in West palm beach, FL
This highly collectible limited edition box clutch is from 2003. It is crafted from luxurious black box quilted lambskin and silver tone hardware and converts from wristlet to clutch...
Category

20th Century Clutches

Chanel Graffiti Rare MINAUDIÈRE Clutch
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Iridescent Chanel blue and green glittered clutch with graffiti detail 2007 {VINTAGE 14 Years} Silver hardware Chanel name plate snap closure Black satin interior lining 4”W x 4”H ...
Category

Early 2000s Clutches

  • Chanel Graffiti Rare MINAUDIÈRE Clutch
  • Chanel Graffiti Rare MINAUDIÈRE Clutch
  • Chanel Graffiti Rare MINAUDIÈRE Clutch
  • Chanel Graffiti Rare MINAUDIÈRE Clutch
H 4 in. W 4 in. L 3.25 in.
Rare Chanel 2.55 "Coco Chanel" shoulder bag in brown printed quilted canvas, GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, Paris
Collector’s Coin/ Limited Edition Coco Chanel Beautiful Chanel Timeless 2.55 handbag with double flap in brown printed quilted canvas, gold metal hardware, a gold metal chain handle...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Rare Chanel Signature Fantasy Tweed Crochet Knit Coat CC Logo Button
By Chanel
Located in Switzerland, CH
AMAZING & RARE CHANEL SIGNATURE TWEED COAT FROM CHANEL RUNWAY SHOW COLLECTION A TRUE CHANEL PIECE THAT SHOULD BE IN EVERY WOMAN'S WARDROBE DETAILS: Beautiful CHANEL tweed coat A...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Coats

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

Rare Oversized Chanel Jewelled Crest*
By Chanel
Located in Riverdale, NY
Rare Byzantine Crest Brooch of rectangular and square cut gem colored and crystal foiled stones. This incredibly massive brooch is mounted on a signature filigree back, a device of t...
Category

Vintage 1980s Brooches

Ultra Rare Chanel Trapeze navy blue shoulder bag and gold hardware
By Chanel
Located in Paris, Paris
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

Rare Chanel Pink Fantasy Tweed Jacket Blazer Skirt Suit Supermarket Collection
By Chanel
Located in Switzerland, CH
Beautiful Chanel Skirt Suit From the Chanel supermarket collection One of the most famous pieces designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel Featured in many editorials, the AD campaign an...
Category

2010s Skirt Suits

RARE Chanel Black Embroidered Python 2.55 Classic Flap Reissue 226
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Chanel Black Embroidered Python 2.55 Classic Flap Reissue 226 in excellent condition. Black python snakeskin exterior embroidered with tan wool, black lace, and black paillette sequi...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Rare Chanel Vintage 90's Crocodile Alligator Top Handle Micro Mini Kelly Tote
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Rare Chanel Vintage 90's Crocodile Alligator Top Handle Micro Mini Kelly Tote 1997 {VINTAGE 24 Years} Gold Hardware Interior zipper pocket Black Lambskin interior lining 8.5” H x ...
Category

1990s Clutches

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.
Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses Lens: Solid Black Frame Color: White Style: Round Year: 1994s Made in Italy Condition: Very good vintage
Category

1990s Sunglasses

  • Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
  • Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
  • Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
  • Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
H 2 in. W 5.27 in. L 5.11 in.
Chanel Rare Vintage Ice Cube Watch
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare Vintage Ice Cube Watch
Category

Early 2000s Wrist Watches

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 White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses Lens: Solid Black Frame Color: Black Style: Round Year: 1994s Made in Italy Condition: Very good vintage.
Category

1990s Sunglasses

  • Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
  • Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
  • Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
  • Chanel Rare White Vintage 90's Sunglasses
H 2 in. W 5.27 in. L 5.11 in.
Chanel Pink Cotton Bucket Hat - Rare
By Chanel
Located in London, GB
Chanel Pink Cotton Bucket Hat - Rare - Tonal stitching - Embroidered yellow Chanel logo at the front - Partially lined Materials: 100% Cotton PLEASE NOTE, THESE ITEMS ARE PRE-OWNE...
Category

2010s Hats

Chanel Rare 1970's Oversize Necklace Belt
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel rare and collectible oversize coins necklace/belt. Can be worn also as a double necklace. Iconic symbols on the coins. Coins diameter 1.5". Comes with original pouch or box.
Category

Vintage 1970s Chain Necklaces

  • Chanel Rare 1970's Oversize Necklace Belt
  • Chanel Rare 1970's Oversize Necklace Belt
  • Chanel Rare 1970's Oversize Necklace Belt
  • Chanel Rare 1970's Oversize Necklace Belt
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H 32 in. W 1 in.
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Rare CHANEL 2.55 double-sided metallic blue quilted leather pouch/bag
By Chanel
Located in Paris, Paris
Rare Limited Edition CHANEL 2.55 double-sided metallic midnight blue quilted leather bag/pouch, gold-tone metal hardware. Flap closure -- 2.55 gold metal clasps. Burgundy leather in...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Bucket Rare Three Pocket Rare Vintage Rucksack Black Caviar Backpack
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Ultra Rare Chanel Bucket Three Pocket Vintage Backpack Rucksack
Category

1990s Backpacks

Rare Chanel Boucle Signature Monochrome Maxi Skirt Suit with CC Logo Buttons
By Chanel
Located in Switzerland, CH
Beautiful CHANEL jacket with matching skirt A true CHANEL signature item that will last you for many years Both pieces can be worn as a suit or single - always stunning!...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Skirt Suits

Rare Chanel Vintage Black Lambskin Quilted Fanny Pack Waist Belt Bum Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Vintage Chanel square quilted caviar classic flap shaped fanny pack waist bag 2004 {VINTAGE 17 Years} Gold hardware Exterior black lambskin leather Interior lambskin lining Back car...
Category

Early 2000s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

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 80s Rare Gripoix Large Earrings
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel by Victoire de Castellaine collectible 80s oversized clip earrings. Multicolor gripoix (poured glass) and gold tone metal. Come with original box.
Category

Vintage 1980s Clip-on Earrings

  • Chanel 80s Rare Gripoix Large Earrings
  • Chanel 80s Rare Gripoix Large Earrings
  • Chanel 80s Rare Gripoix Large Earrings
  • Chanel 80s Rare Gripoix Large Earrings
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W 1 in. L 4 in.
The Rare Chanel Timeless Camelia Medium Shoulder bag in multicolor Tweed, SHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, Paris
VERY RARE & COVETED! Timeless bag out of Tweed Camellia pink, grey and ivory partially quilted , silver metal hardware, silver metal handle intertwined with pink tweed, grey and ivo...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Rare 1980's Chanel Collectible Round Glasses
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Late 1980s Chanel black and white round sunglasses. Comes with original Chanel box and cloth case. Minor scratches on frame and lenses.
Category

1980s Sunglasses

Rare Chanel Byzantine Cross with Ruby Bead Surround
By Maison Gripoix for Chanel
Located in Riverdale, NY
Massive, rare Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel Byzantine Cross with ruby handmade bead surround. Composed of topaz, emerald, pale amythest, crystal and sapphire Gripoix poured glass enamel ...
Category

1990s Brooches

Materials

Gold Plate, Enamel, Gilt Metal, Bronze

Chanel Lesage Couture 1940’s RARE Bolero Jacket
By Chanel
Located in Carmel by the Sea, CA
Amazing and rare Chanel Lesage Tweed bolero jacket featured in a brown, wool fabric with chainwork and lamé threading throughout the floral detail. Bolero is fully lined and has conc...
Category

1940s Bolero Jackets

Chanel Rare 90s Vintage Natural Rattan Raffia Rare Black Leather Backpack
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Rare 90s Vintage Natural Rattan Raffia Rare Black Leather Backpack Chanel's black leather and natural rattan backpack is both chic and practical for everyday use and travel! ...
Category

1990s Backpacks

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.
Rare Chanel Classic Double Flap shoulder bag in black quilted leather and GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, Paris
Beautiful Chanel Timeless/Classique handbag with double flap in black quilted leather, gold metal trim, a chain handle in gold metal intertwined with black leather allowing a hand or...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare ID Dog Tags Charm Necklace
By Chanel
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
The timeless Chanel charm necklace makes this a fabulous fashion accessory. The black and white Chanel necklace features two dog tag charms embossed with reversed Chanel name logo on...
Category

Early 2000s Pendant Necklaces

  • Chanel Rare ID Dog Tags Charm Necklace
  • Chanel Rare ID Dog Tags Charm Necklace
  • Chanel Rare ID Dog Tags Charm Necklace
  • Chanel Rare ID Dog Tags Charm Necklace
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H 1 in. W 1.75 in. L 24 in.
Rare Chanel Classic 22cm shoulder bag in black quilted lambskin with GHW
By Chanel
Located in Paris, Paris
Amazing Chanel Classique shoulder bag in black quilted leather, gold-tone metal hardware, a gold-tone metal chain handle intertwined with black leather for shoulder support . Gilded...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Rare Chanel Silk Twill Scarf Shawl CC Logo Coin Motif Massive 40in
By Chanel
Located in Port Saint Lucie, FL
This fabulous scarf was made by Chanel, most likely in the late 90s. Made from a silk twill fabric, it features a bold and colorful CC logo coin motif throughout. It measures an in...
Category

1990s Scarves

Rare Chanel Trapeze bicolor navy blue/red handbag in leather with its wallet
By Chanel
Located in Paris, Paris
CHANEL Trapeze Bicolor navy blue and red quilted leather Shoulder bag Very rare bag. Circa's 1990. Made in France with logo detail lock with its wallet and authenticity card wit...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

1980's Vintage Chanel Rare Pearls Magnifier Necklace
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel rare and collectible pearl magnifier necklace. Can be worn single or double. Collection 23 , mid 80s, by Victoire de Castellaine. Comes with original box or pouch.
Category

20th Century Pendant Necklaces

Rare Chanel Trapeze bicolor white/blue navy handbag in leather with its wallet
By Chanel
Located in Paris, Paris
CHANEL Trapeze Bicolor White and Deep Blue Leather Shoulder bag Very rare bag. Vintage bag from 1989-1991. Made in France with logo detail lock with its wallet and authenticity ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

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.
Rare 1970's Chanel Oversized Daisy Pearl Earrings
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel oversized and collectible daisy clip earrings with center faux made pearl. Come with original box.
Category

Vintage 1970s Clip-on Earrings

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Rare Chanel For Sale on 1stDibs

Find the exact vintage or contemporary rare chanel you’re shopping for in the variety available on 1stDibs. Black is a pretty popular color, but we also have Brown, Gray, Beige and more in stock now. If you’re looking for a rare chanel 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. Finding a rare chanel for sale for women should be easy, but there are 215 pieces available to browse for men as well.

How Much is a Rare Chanel?

The price for a rare chanel starts at $195 and tops out at $52,500, and on average, selling for $3,618.

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.