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Vintage Black Shoulder Bag

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Chanel Vintage Black Lizard Exotic Leather Gold Evening Camera Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Chicago, IL
Chanel Rare Vintage Black Lizard Exotic Gold Evening Camera Shoulder Bag Lizard Gold tone hardware Leather lining Zipper closure Made in Italy Date code present 1317318 Shoulde...
Category

Late 20th Century Shoulder Bags

Hermès Vintage Pola Purse Clutch Evening Bag 2 ways Black Ostrich Golden Hdw
By Hermès
Located in ., FR
Rare and Beautiful Authentic Hermès Purse "Pola" Made in France No stamp but vintage Made of Ostrich Leather and Golden Hardware Ostrich is it a resistant leather, and less sub...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
Black Calf leather Gucci shoulder bag with silver-tone hardware, single flat adjustable shoulder strap, tonal suede lining, open top with an attached zippered pouch. Designer: Gucci...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
  • Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
  • Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
  • Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
H 6.5 in. W 10 in. D 3.5 in.
Judith Leiber Vintage Black Alligator Shoulder Bag Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
STUNNING Judith Leiber Vintage Black Alligator Shoulder Bag Clutch in excellent condition. Black alligator leather exterior trimmed with a front black and gold sliding latch closure ...
Category

1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

Vintage 90s Chanel Black Patent Leather Shoulder Flap Bag
By Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Chanel
Located in Sheung Wan, HK
- Vintage 90s Chanel black patent leather shoulder flap bag. - Hardware: Black metal. - Measurements: Length: 28cm. Height: 17cm. Width: 8cm. Strap Drop: 51cm.
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Vintage Chanel Black Denim Maxi Classic Flap Shoulder Bag
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Chanel Black Denim Maxi Classic Flap Shoulder Bag in very good condition. Quilted black denim exterior trimmed with gold hardware. Front CC logo twist closure opens via single flap t...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Vintage Hermes Black Crocodile Constance 23 GHW Shoulder Bag
By Hermès
Located in Philadelphia, PA
AUTHENTIC HERMES black crocodile constance bag in excellent vintage condition. Black crocodile leather exterior trimmed with shining gold hardware. Lift latch single flap style closu...
Category

1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

Fendi Vintage Black Suede Framed Shoulder Bag Handbag
By Fendi
Located in Rome, Rome
FENDI vintage black suede framed shoulder bag. Black suede with black leather shoulder strap. Gold metal FF logos on the sides. Pleats detailing. Framed top with clasp closure. Beige...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Vintage Leather Chanel Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Beautiful vintage Chanel shoulder bag with one main pouch and a small side zippered pocket. Stainless steel hardware with a stainless steel and leather strap which can be doubled up ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Vintage Leather Chanel Shoulder Bag
  • Vintage Leather Chanel Shoulder Bag
  • Vintage Leather Chanel Shoulder Bag
  • Vintage Leather Chanel Shoulder Bag
H 7.5 in. W 9 in. D 5 in.
Chanel 80s Black Vintage Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel black vintage 80s shoulder bag in quilted lambskin. Hardware is discolored throughout the bag, please refer to photos for actual condition. Shoulder drop 13.5. Collection 1988...
Category

1980s Shoulder Bags

  • Chanel 80s Black Vintage Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel 80s Black Vintage Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel 80s Black Vintage Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel 80s Black Vintage Shoulder Bag
H 9.5 in. W 3.5 in. L 10 in.
Chanel Vintage Black Quilted Patent Leather Reissue Flap Bag XL Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Vintage Black Quilted Patent Leather Reissue Flap Bag XL Shoulder Bag Spacious carry-all version of the classic Chanel Reissue Flap Bag featured in the XL size, rendered in b...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Rare Fendi Roma Vintage Black Leather Crocodile Shoulder Bag 1970s
By Fendi
Located in Brindisi, Bt
Vintage Fendi Sas Roma shoulder bag, 70s. Black, 100% crocodile leather. Adjustable shoulder strap, can also be carried by hand. Clip button closure. Internal zip pocket. Made in Ita...
Category

1970s Structured Shoulder Bags

CHANEL Full Flap Vintage Chain Shoulder Bag Black Quilted Lambskin
By Chanel
Located in Takamatsu-shi, JP
An authentic CHANEL Full Flap Vintage Chain Shoulder Bag Black Quilted made of black Lambskin. The color is Black. The outside material is Leather. The pattern is Solid. This item is...
Category

1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

Gianni Versace Couture Black Leather Vintage Shoulder Bag circa 1990
By Gianni Versace
Located in Aci Castello, IT
Amazing Gianni Versace vintage shoulder leather bag, made in the 1990s, perfect conditions
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1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Gucci Vintage Black Pony Hair and Leather Handbag Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Rome, Rome
Beautiful Gucci handbag or shoulder bag, crafted in black pony hair and leather. Flap with magnetic button closure. Gold metal handle with removable shoulder strap. Black fabric lini...
Category

20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

1986 Chanel Black Patent Leather Vintage Round Fringe Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
CHANEL Black Patent Leather Vintage Round Fringe Shoulder Bag Xupes Reference: HB3401 Serial Number: 0406230 Age (Circa): 1986 Accompanied By: Chanel Dust Bag, Authenticity Card Aut...
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1980s 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 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...
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1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Black Quilted Patent Vanity Shoulder Crossbody Quilted Tote Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Vintage Black Quilted Patent Vanity Shoulder Bag 1991 {VINTAGE 30 Years} Gold hardware Classic Interwoven top handle Detachable classic interwoven chain strap Patent leather...
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1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Black Quilted Patent Vanity Shoulder Crossbody Quilted Tote Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Vintage Black Quilted Patent Vanity Shoulder Bag 1991 {VINTAGE 30 Years} Gold hardware Classic Interwoven top handle Detachable classic interwoven chain strap Patent leather...
Category

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

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

1990 Gucci Black Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
GUCCI Black Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag Xupes Reference: CWAHF-HB009 Serial Number: 001-3191 1705 Age (Circa): 1990 Authenticity Details: Date Stamp (Made in Italy) Gender: Ladies Ty...
Category

1990s Shoulder Bags

  • 1990 Gucci Black Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
  • 1990 Gucci Black Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
  • 1990 Gucci Black Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
  • 1990 Gucci Black Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
H 14.18 in. W 14.18 in. D 1.19 in.
Chanel 80s Black Vintage Leather Shoulder Chain Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel excellent vintage black shoulder bag, partially quilted. Gold tone hardware. Collection 1986/1988. Shoulder drop 13". Comes with hologram and original dust cover.
Category

1980s Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Quilted Double Chain Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Vintage Quilted Double Chain Shoulder Bag circa 2006 black patent leather leather and chain-link shoulder strap quilted finish foldover top signature interlocking CC turn-loc...
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Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

1990s Raquel Sitwell Black Suede Leather Tortoise Shell Vintage 90s Shoulder Bag
By Raquel Sitwell
Located in Chicago, IL
Chic and classic RAQUEL SITWELL black suede and faux tortoise shell structured shoulder bag! Medium to Large size fits all the necessities. Long shoulder strap is the perfect length ...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

1990 Gucci Black Suede Vintage Frame Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
GUCCI Black Suede Vintage Frame Shoulder Bag Xupes Reference: CWAHF-HB007 Serial Number: 001-1781-1864 Age (Circa): 1990 Authenticity Details: Date Stamp (Made in Italy) Gender: Lad...
Category

1990s Shoulder Bags

Vintage Chanel Large Camera Bag Black Exotic Ostrich Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Port Saint Lucie, FL
Authentic, preowned, vintage Chanel Large Camera bag in black exotic ostrich with gold hardware. Two slip pockets outside, main zip compartment lined in leather with one zip pocket i...
Category

1980s Shoulder Bags

Chanel 90s Black Large Vintage Leather Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel authentic 90s very large black shoulder bag with gold tone hardware. Collection 1996. Front outer pocket and two zipped interior compartments. Shoulder drop 13". Comes with ho...
Category

1990s Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage 90's Mini CC Drawstring Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Vintage 90's Mini CC Drawstring Shoulder Bag circa 1995 black leather gold-tone hardware signature stitched interlocking CC logo drawstring fastening leather and chain-link s...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

1990'S Vintage Chanel Black Patent Small Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel vintage small shoulder bag in classic black patent leather with gold tone hardware. Shoulder drop 15". Collection 1991/1994. Comes with hologram and original box.
Category

20th Century 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...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Louis Vuitton Vintage Monogram Boulogne Shoulder Bag (1998)
By Louis Vuitton
Located in Montreal, Quebec
This shoulder bag is made with brown monogram on toile canvas with aged vachetta cowhide leather on the shoulder strap, base corners and trim. The bag features brass hardware, top zi...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Fendi Vintage Mama Baguette Zuchino Black on Black Shoulder Bag
By Fendi
Located in Montreal, Quebec
This Mama baguette is made with black canvas with black Fendi Zuccino embossing throughout. The bag features an adjustable looping leather strap, gunmetal buckle links for the top st...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Gucci Vintage Brown Leather Boxed Flap Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Rome, Rome
Gucci Vintage shoulder bag. Brown leather with gold metal hardware. Flap with button closure on the front. Brown leather lining. 3 main compartments. 1 side zip pocket and 1 side ope...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Lambskin Vintage Shoulder Bag CC top lock
By Chanel
Located in Roosendaal, NL
From the collection of Savineti we offer this Chanel Lambskin Shoulder Bag with CC top lock - Brand: Chanel - Model: Vintage Shoulder bag with CC top lock - Year: 1960s - Condition...
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1960s Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Chanel Lambskin Vintage Shoulder Bag CC top lock
  • Chanel Lambskin Vintage Shoulder Bag CC top lock
  • Chanel Lambskin Vintage Shoulder Bag CC top lock
  • Chanel Lambskin Vintage Shoulder Bag CC top lock
H 7.09 in. W 3.75 in. L 11.03 in.
Vintage Large Black Corde Bag
Located in London, GB
A great bag by British firm Corde. This bag has a flapover front with attractive circular clasp.Inside there are two pouch pockets and one popper pocket.The shoulder strap is 18'' long.
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1950s Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Vintage Large Black Corde Bag
  • Vintage Large Black Corde Bag
  • Vintage Large Black Corde Bag
  • Vintage Large Black Corde Bag
H 8 in. W 10 in. D 3 in.
Bally Black Croc Embossed Leather Vintage Flap Shoulder Bag
By Bally
Located in Dubai, Al Qouz 2
Add a touch of elegance when you style this Bally handbag with your favorite attire. Bold and sharp, this bag is designed in a black croc-embossed leather body. It features a leather...
Category

2010s Shoulder Bags

Dior Vintage Leather Black CD Flap Saddle Shoulder Bag
By Christian Dior
Located in Montreal, Quebec
This Christian Dior bag is made with black leather and featuring contrasting white stitching throughout, large CD logo plaque in sliver tone on the front, silver-tone hardware accent...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Gucci Vintage Brown Suede Enamel Closure Flap Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Rome, Rome
Gucci Vintage shoulder bag. Brown suede with brown leather. Flap with enameled clasp closure. Beige leather lining. 1 side zip pocket and 2 side open pockets inside. Adjustable shoul...
Category

20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

Salvatore Ferragamo Black Lizard Embossed Leather Vintage Shoulder Bag
By Salvatore Ferragamo
Located in London, GB
Salvatore Ferragamo Black Lizard Embossed Leather Vintage Shoulder Bag - Made of beautiful textured leather - Lizard skin embossed effect - Gold tone branded hardware to the sides ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Rare Gucci Vintage Navy Leather Striped Canvas Shoulder Bag
Located in Philadelphia, PA
RARE Gucci Vintage Navy Leather Striped Canvas Shoulder Bag in very good condition. Navy blue leather exterior in unique flying saucer shape trimmed with signature red and navy canva...
Category

1970s Structured Shoulder Bags

Gucci Vintage Monogram Customized Ladybug Reporter Messenger Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Gucci Vintage Monogram Customized Hand Painted Ladybug Reporter Messenger Shoulder Bag in very good condition. Gucci monogram canvas exterior trimmed with light brown leather, gold h...
Category

1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

Ferragamo Vintage Micro Shoulder Bag
By Ferragamo
Located in London, GB
Tiny Ferragamo Vintage Mini Shoulder Bag. Black leather mini shoulder bag from Ferragamo Vintage featuring a foldover top with flip-lock closure, a gold-tone chain shoulder strap and...
Category

20th Century Shoulder Bags

  • Ferragamo Vintage Micro Shoulder Bag
  • Ferragamo Vintage Micro Shoulder Bag
  • Ferragamo Vintage Micro Shoulder Bag
  • Ferragamo Vintage Micro Shoulder Bag
H 3.15 in. W 4.34 in. D 1.19 in.
Chanel Black Lambskin Vintage Camera Bag
By Chanel
Located in Palm Beach, FL
This authentic Chanel Lambskin Camera Bag is in excellent vintage condition from the 1980's. A truly classic piece, it is a must have for any collection. Black structured case in ...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

Vintage Bon Gout Black Crocodile Bag
By Bon Gout
Located in London, GB
A chic vintage crocodile bag by Bon Gout . This super shiny crocodile bag is large enough for todays essentials, measuring Width 13'', height 7 1/2 '', and depth 3''. The bag has a ...
Category

1950s Structured Shoulder Bags

Balenciaga Black Woven Straw and Leather Vintage Flap Shoulder Bag
Located in Dubai, Al Qouz 2
Add a touch of elegance when you style this Balenciaga handbag with your favorite attire. Bold and sharp, this bag is designed in a black woven straw and leather body. It features a ...
Category

2010s Shoulder Bags

Gucci Black GG Canvas and Leather Vintage Horsebit Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Dubai, Al Qouz 2
This exquisite Gucci shoulder bag is an unparalleled beauty. Enhanced with black color, this stylish piece is all you need to flaunt your style this season. Classic and refined with ...
Category

2010s Shoulder Bags

Saddlers Union Vintage Navy Blue Leather Flap Saddle Shoulder Bag
Located in Rome, Rome
Beautiful shoulder bag crafted in navy blue leather by Saddlers Union. The model is inspired by the 'Hunting bags' worn during outdoor hunting trips. The bag features a flap with fro...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Brown Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Dubai, Al Qouz 2
The accessory to invest in this season is this creation by Chanel. Fashioned using chevron-quilted suede, the brown shoulder bag has a compact size with a well-lined interior. A leat...
Category

1990s Shoulder Bags

  • Chanel Brown Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Brown Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Brown Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Brown Suede Vintage Shoulder Bag
H 6.89 in. W 1.97 in. L 7.49 in.
Prada Vintage Black Tessuto Nylon Baguette Bag
By Prada
Located in New York, NY
Prada Vintage Black Nylon Baguette Pochette Bag Made In: Italy Year of Production: '90s-early 2000s Color: Black Hardware: Silvertone Materials: Nylon Lining: Black nylon Closure/Op...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black Chevron Leather Vintage Day Bag
By Chanel
Located in Palm Beach, FL
This authentic Chanel Black Chevron Leather Day Bag is in excellent vintage condition, circa 1989-1991. Timeless and sophisticated, this classic Chanel is the perfect way to elevate...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

Vintage Chanel 28cm Navy Lambskin Triple CC Camera Shoulder Bag
By Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel
Located in Sheung Wan, HK
- Vintage Chanel 28cm navy lambskin triple "CC" camera shoulder bag from 1994 to 1996. - These bag is rare in navy lambskin leather interior and exterior. - It comes with authent...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Quilted Black Lambskin Leather 2.55 Jumbo Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Montreal, Quebec
This bag is made with black diamond quilted lambskin leather. Featuring gold toned hardware, a gold toned chain interlace with leather, a flap with a Mademoiselle CC turn lock closur...
Category

Early 2000s Shoulder Bags

Unused vintage 90s Gianni Versace Black Croc Leather flap Shoulder Bag
By Gianni Versace
Located in Sheung Wan, HK
- Vintage 90s Gianni Versace black croc leather flap shoulder bag. - Embedded Medusa logo flap with snap button closure. - Silver toned hardware "Medusa" handle. - Detachable c...
Category

1990s Shoulder Bags

Bottega Veneta Vintage Black Safiano Leather Flap Bag
By Bottega Veneta
Located in Montreal, Quebec
This Bottega bag is made with textured leather and features a large front flap, attachable shoulder strap and a back zip pocket. The expandable large interior compartment has jacquar...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Vintage Black Patent Bag
Located in London, GB
An unusual hexaganal shape patent black bag . The bag has a flap over front with popper fastening, it has an internal pouch pocket and rope shoulder strap.
Category

1970s Shoulder Bags

  • Vintage Black Patent Bag
  • Vintage Black Patent Bag
  • Vintage Black Patent Bag
  • Vintage Black Patent Bag
H 8 in. W 9 in. D 2 in.
Chanel Vintage Black Patent Leather Double Flap Envelope Bag
By Chanel
Located in Palm Beach, FL
This authentic Chanel Black Patent Leather Double Envelope Bag is in excellent vintage condition from the late 1980's- early 1990's. The elegant silhouette is a true classic and a g...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel 90's Vintage Diamond Quilted CC Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Vintage 90's Diamond Quilted CC Shoulder Bag Year: circa 1992 leather diamond quilting signature interlocking CC turn-lock fastening gold-tone hardware large tassel detail t...
Category

1990s Shoulder Bags

Chanel 1980s Two Tone Black and White Vintage Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Two Tone Black and White Vintage Flap Bag 1989 {VINTAGE 32 Years} Lamsbkin leather Classic back pocket Gold hardware Interwoven classic chain Red lambskin interior lining CC ...
Category

1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Vintage Black Lambskin Quilted Small Classic Double Flap Bag
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Chanel Vintage Black Lambskin Quilted Small Classic Double Flap Bag SKU: 111181 MSRP: USD 6,200.00 Handbag Condition: Very Good Condition Comments: Very Good Condition. Light scratc...
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

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Vintage Black Shoulder Bag For Sale on 1stDibs

You are likely to find exactly the vintage or contemporary vintage black shoulder bag you’re looking for on 1stDibs, as there is a broad range for sale. If you’re looking for an option in Black and you’re unable to find the right fit, there are plenty of variations in Gray, Blue and more. Finding the perfect vintage black shoulder bag may mean sifting through those that were made during different time periods — popular versions were made as early as the 18th Century and a newer one, made as recently as the 21st Century, can also be found on the site. There have been many well-made iterations of this accessory over the years, but those made by Chanel, Gucci and Hermès are often thought to be among the most stylish. If you’re browsing our inventory for these accessories, you’ll find that many are available today for women, but there are still pieces to choose from for men and unisex.

How Much is a Vintage Black Shoulder Bag?

The price for a vintage black shoulder bag starts at $130 and tops out at $24,920, and on average, selling for $3,041.

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.