View Similar Items
About the Designer
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.
Browse vintage Chanel bags, evening dresses, shoes, jewelry and other clothing and accessories on 1stDibs.
- Massive One of a Kind Alexander McQueen Silver Exotic Skins & Metal Bag 2007By Alexander McQueenLocated in Los Angeles, CAA highly rare and important one-of-a-kind silver exotic skins leather and tarnished silver colored metal giant scale handbag. In Memory Of Elizabeth How, Salem 1692 collection AW 200...Category
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Top Handle Bags
- Gucci 1970s Canvas & Leather Sun Print Shoulder BagBy GucciLocated in Los Angeles, CAA vintage Gucci navy canvas shoulder bag with yellow and white sun print. Leather shoulder strap zipper top, and brass-tone metal hardware. Excelle...Category
1970s Italian Shoulder Bags
- Vintage Miu Miu Black Neoprene Backpack 1999By Miu MiuLocated in Los Angeles, CAVintage Miu Miu black neoprene and mesh backpack featuring a zip closure and front chest strap with velcro closure. Collection 1999.Category
1990s Italian Backpacks
- Walter Van Beirendonck Hologram Cosmetics BagBy Walter Van BeirendonckLocated in Los Angeles, CAResurrection Vintage is excited to offer a vintage Walt cosmetic bag featuring four holographic panels, a top zipper, and a "W" keychain. Walt O...Category
1990s Belgian Novelty Bags
- Vintage Dolce & Gabbana Black Satin ShrugBy Dolce & GabbanaLocated in Los Angeles, CAVintage Dolce & Gabbana black satin shrug jacket with dropped shoulder and elongated sleeves. Excellent Vintage Condition. Size 42Category
Late 20th Century Italian Jackets
- Roberta di Camerino Trompe Suit Red, Blue, Black, White Max DressBy Roberta Di CamerinoLocated in Los Angeles, CAVintage red, blue, black and white Roberta di Camerino jersey maxi dress with sleeves. Dress features signature Roberta print and gold buttons. Roberta di Camerino archive sample dre...Category
1970s Italian Day Dresses
- Mariano Fortuny Rare Black Stencilled Velvet Drawstring BagBy FortunyLocated in Riverdale, NYFortunys stenciled velvet drawstring bags found a use for small pieces of his precious velvets, their sizes vary due to the dimensions of the cuts.They are exceedingly rare.
Early 20th Century Italian Art Deco Pouches and WristletsPrice Upon Request
- Moschino Milk Carton Leather Shoulder BagBy MoschinoLocated in Los Angeles, CAMoschino milk carton leather shoulder bag Museum quality Moschino milk carton bag made of leather. Bends in Leather handle strap from improper storage...Category
1990s Italian Shoulder Bags
- Moschino Cheap & Chic Black Patent Bag Blue HeartBy MoschinoLocated in Los Angeles, CAMoschino cheap & chic black patent bag blue heart This vintage bag by Moschino is a great addition to your wardrobe. Super fun heart shaped fur clasp...Category
Early 2000s Italian Top Handle Bags
- Moschino Redwall Vintage Roma Amor Red Bag PurseBy MoschinoLocated in Los Angeles, CAMoschino redwall vintage roma amor red bag purse New and never used vintage Moschino bag by Redwall from 1994 and featured in the Moschino ? Book from 2001 ...Category
1990s Shoulder Bags
- Vintage MOSCHINO Flower Massive Rigid Chain Top Handle Leather Shoulder BagBy Moschino Cheap and Chic, MoschinoLocated in Kingersheim, AlsaceVintage MOSCHINO Flower Massive Rigid Chain Top Handle Leather Shoulder Bag Measurements: Bag Height: 5.90 inches (15 cm) without the top handle Total...Category
1990s French Top Handle Bags
- Vintage YVES SAINT LAURENT Heart Plexiglass Black Silk Box BagBy Yves Saint LaurentLocated in Kingersheim, AlsaceVintage YVES SAINT LAURENT Heart Plexiglass Black Silk Box Bag Measurements: Height: 7 2/8 inches (top of heart to bottom) Width: 7 5/8 inches Depth:...Category
20th Century French Top Handle Bags
Recently ViewedView More
With a Wink, Karl Lagerfeld Sent This Egg-Carton-Shaped Chanel Bag Down the Runway
For the brand’s 2014–15 ready-to-wear show in Paris, the designer was inspired by a most unexpected place: the supermarket.
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.
The 1stDibs PromiseLearn More
Expertly Vetted Sellers
Confidence at Checkout
Trusted Global Delivery