In the years following the opening of her modest millinery shop, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel became 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. Today vintage Chanel handbags, jackets and evening dresses are among the most sought-after clothing and accessories for fashion lovers all over the world.
The first Chanel shop was established 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, Chanel's 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.
But 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.
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Chanel
2010s Italian Chanel
Early 2000s Italian Chanel
1990s French Chanel
20th Century Italian Chanel
1990s Italian Chanel
1990s Italian Chanel
2010s French Chanel
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Chanel
20th Century Italian Chanel
2010s Italian Chanel
Late 20th Century French Chanel
1990s Italian Chanel
Chanel fashion for sale on 1stDibs
Designers Similar to Chanel
- How to store your Chanel bag?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Tuck the chain inside your Chanel bag through its holes and store it in a dust-free environment and avoid touching or bumping into any other items while they're hanging out of sight. Shop a range of vintage and modern Chanel bags on 1stDibs.
- Are Chanel bags heavy?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Chanel'S leather bags are the most durable compared to others. Standing the test of time and heavy-duty nature even when soft to the touch. From Chanel's quilted flaps to small leather goods, on 1stDibs, find a variety of authentic pieces from Chanel.
- What is a Chanel VIP bag?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022An authentic Chanel VIP gift bag or gift item may be given to a few loyal VIP customers who regularly visit the store and spend a significant amount of money on their products. It is not something that the general population can purchase. These gift items are all made with the same attention to detail and fine craftsmanship that you expect from anything with the Chanel brand. Shop a collection of expertly vetted vintage and new Chanel bags from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022To read a Chanel clothing label, look beneath the Chanel logo tag. There you will see another label with the style number, size and year it was created. If the style number starts with an A, it was from an Autumn collection. P stands for Printemps, which is spring, and C means that item is part of the cruise line. Shop a collection of expertly vetted vintage and new Chanel garments from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
- Who is Chanel owned by?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Chanel is owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer. They are the grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, the business partner of Coco Chanel, who founded the luxury fashion house in 1909. Shop a wide range of Chanel apparel and accessories on 1stDibs.
- How to get a Chanel mini?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022There are a few ways to get your hands on Chanel minis. Get in contact with a sales associate at the Chanel store to inquire which style/ color they have in stock or on 1stDibs; find a collection of vintage and new Chanel minis.
- Who manufactures Chanel eyewear?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Chanel manufactures their eyewear in Italy, Spain and Paris, similar to most high-end designers. The Haute-Couture and High Jewelry pieces are exclusively made in Paris. Shop Chanel's vintage and modern collection from some of the world's top sellers on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertJanuary 4, 2022Fake Chanel bags aren’t easy to spot — especially if you’re shopping online. Forgeries are getting increasingly difficult to identify, but there are a few clues that might indicate a Chanel bag is a counterfeit. Bags made in the mid-1980s and later have a serial number at the bottom of the bag, and this number should match the one on the Chanel authenticity card. The Cs in the clasp should have flat, not rounded, edges, and the right-hand C will always overlap the one on the left at the top, with the overlapping reversed at the bottom. The screw on the clasp will have a flat or star head — never a Phillips head. The zipper should have the Lampo logo on the back of the slider, and the bag should come in a duster bag with the Chanel logo printed in white in the center. The diamond-pattern quilting on the bag should be flawless and perfectly aligned, even where there’s a pocket. The lining should lie tight and flat against the interior — never creased or lumpy. The inside of the bag should have the Chanel logo followed by “Made in Italy” or “Made in France.” To ensure you’re purchasing an authentic Chanel bag, buy from a reputable seller that carefully vets their offerings. Shop a collection of properly vetted vintage and new Chanel bags from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Yes, Bergdorf Goodman carries Chanel handbags, shoes and accessories. These items can only be purchased in Bergdorf Goodman’s two physical locations in New York City. You'll find a large selection of vintage and modern Chanel pieces on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022How to clean white Chanel bags as they are susceptible to light and can turn yellow if exposed for too long by polishing the leather gently with a natural-coloured soft woollen cloth or pat with a fine woollen cloth when wet. Shop a range of authentic Chanel bags on 1stDibs.
- Who is the designer of Chanel?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertJanuary 4, 2022The current designer of Chanel is Virginie Viard, who started as an intern at Chanel in 1987 and became creative director Karl Lagerfeld’s self-proclaimed “right arm and my left arm.” Aside from a five-year stint at Chloé, Viard worked as Lagerfeld’s Chanel studio director until his death in 2019, after which she was named his successor as creative director. Viard’s French bohemian style revisits the past, but always with a fresh eye. On 1stDibs, find vintage and contemporary Chanel haute couture from top sellers around the world.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022There are 310 Chanel boutiques located across the globe; 94 in Asia, 70 in Europe, 10 in the Middle East, 127 in North America, 2 in South America and 6 in Oceania. In addition to the Chanel boutiques, there are many authorized retailers of the Chanel line. Find a collection of expertly vetted Chanel fashions, accessories, and handbags from some of the world’s top reputable boutiques on 1stDibs.
- How did Chanel change fashion?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel became a trailblazer in the fashion world by offering women styling options that moved away from corsets and lace and more toward a practical approach to fashion. Her original styles included wide-leg pants and sailor shirts which enhanced the freedom of the body, an important aspect in her vision of fluid and androgenous clothing. Shop a collection of vintage and new Chanel clothing from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022No, Chanel doesn’t make men’s sunglasses as they do not have a menswear line. That said, there are men who do wear Chanel sunglasses and other items from the women’s line to create their own noteworthy style. On 1stDibs, find a collection of authentic Chanel sunglasses and other accessories from some of the world’s top boutiques.
- Does Chanel make bedding?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022No, Chanel does not make bedding for your home, but they have great vintage home decor such as cushions, blankets and portraits. Find a collection of antique and vintage pieces on 1stDibs.
- Does Chanel sell men’s shoes?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Chanel doesn’t have a specific men’s shoe division but they do have a sneakers line that can be worn by any gender. These sneakers come in a variety of colors with different fabrics and all feature Chanel’s outstanding quality. On 1stDibs, find a collection of Chanel shoes and other accessories from some top sellers around the world.
- How can I wear my Chanel jacket?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022How you style your Chanel jacket is a matter of preference. Some people like to wear casual clothing, so the Chanel jacket stands out. Others prefer an entire Chanel ensemble with a jacket for an all-over look. Accessorizing your Chanel jacket with a scarf is also a very popular option. Find Chanel jackets on 1stDibs along with a variety of Chanel clothing to create eye-catching ensembles.
- When was Chanel founded?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertJanuary 4, 2022Chanel was founded in 1910 by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, a French fashion designer who opened a hat boutique in Paris that year. Chanel went on to transform women’s fashion with revolutionary and elegant designs that tore down gender boundaries and freed women from the confining fashions of the day. Find vintage and contemporary Chanel bags, clothing and accessories from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022You can find a variety of second-hand Chanel bags online at boutiques and auction houses. You may also be able to find Chanel bags in consignment and vintage boutiques. It helps to know how to authenticate a Chanel bag to ensure you’re getting a legitimate Chanel handbag. Find a collection of expertly vetted Chanel handbags from some of the world’s top reputable boutiques on 1stDibs.
- How much is a Chanel purse?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021The cost of a Chanel purse depends on its material, rarity, style and condition. On 1stDibs.com, you can purchase a Chanel purse starting from $280.
This Vintage Chanel Fur Muff Is Après-Ski Chic
It might not be as practical as a pair of mittens, but for something that looks this good, practicality really doesn't matter.
A Chanel Wicker Handbag Gives Impossibly Chic Picnic Vibes
Only Chanel could elevate humble materials like denim and wicker to icon-level status.
Chanel’s Boy Brick Lego Bag Transforms a Barcode into Art
In the hands of Karl Lagerfeld, even running errands became a chic exercise.
A Chanel Obsessive’s Cache Extends Well beyond Her Walk-In Closet
From handbags and heels to jackets and jewels, Sharon Coplan Hurowitz has a deep admiration for (and collection of) all things Chanel.
The Stories behind the Most Famous Luxury Fashion Logos
From Chanel to YSL, the logos of some legacy fashion houses spark instant brand recognition and have come to symbolize a kind of luxury that feels at once aspirational and attainable.
How the Chanel Jacket Forever Changed What Women Wear
The classic tweed garment has been a wardrobe staple of chic women around the world since the 1950s.
The Personal Luxury Goods Market amid COVID-19
1stDibs dealers discuss the challenges of this unprecedented time, and the signs of hope.
100 Designs That Encapsulate the Power of Chanel
To truly understand the brand, you need to get to know Coco and Karl.