Coco Chanel saw the need for simplistic and practical fashion for women. These items are crafted with the utmost care, to ensure they last just as long as the fashion does. Overtime they have become exclusive, desired and rare which are the reasons why Chanel’s items are both popular and expensive
Many that do not own any Chanel branded piece (and maybe some who do!) often wonder why Chanel is so popular and expensive. There are many answers, but they all are centered on Coco Chanel herself. Her upbringing, taste and legacy are all part of why Chanel has maintained its popularity for so many years.
Coco Chanel was brought up in a poverty stricken household, until the age of 12 when she became an orphan. Her mother died and her father abandoned the family. She was taken to an orphanage and then a boarding school for Catholic girls. This upbringing can be said to have influenced Coco’s fashion taste. She loved simple, yet practical pieces. Her items are meant to last and meant to be worn through many decades.
For this reason, Chanel’s products are made with the highest quality materials and by the best craftsmen in the industry based Europe only. All of the purse references including the 2 :55, the Boy or the Flap are part handcrafted part machine made, with the highest quality materials following the house’s guidelines. Most Chanel leather goods are made with lambskin or caviar leather, which are both considered top quality leathers. These items are machine stitched under a careful watch, but the material is hand cut and molded to fit to perfection. Chanel chooses to manufacture their items where the best craftsmen are located, in areas such as Paris, Spain and Italy.
It is said that Chanel does a durability test on every bag they sell, to ensure that each bag will last for years! Apparently they can withstand damage from water and heat. Not only do their products last, so does the style. For example, they still produce the classic Flap Bag, but also more contemporary designs made of metallic material, tweed and patterned designs. These bags come in many sizes, colors and materials. Not many brands are able to maintain this type of popularity for one item.
Coco Chanel revolutionized the way women dressed and even felt. She is credited with the invention of the Little Black Dress (LBD), a fashion statement that is still current and likely will be for decades. Inspired by her Catholic upbringing, Coco wanted to create something simple and practical. Now, she understood simple wasn’t for everyone, so her pieces are meant to be built off of, for those who wish. Her LBDs could be dressed up with her famous Costume Jewelry or hats. There is always room for the personality of the wearer to come forward, in any of Chanel’s items. No longer were women forced to wear corsets, but instead they could wear something practical, and functional.
Speaking of functional, Coco was a smoker who she loved putting casually her hands in her pockets which is why she added a chain to her classic handbags. Women were no longer stuck carrying just a purse, they were able to push it up on their shoulders to free their hands in doing other things.
Coco added masculine colors to the female attire, adding simple colors such as grey, black and navy. These colors allowed a backdrop for other accessories to take precedence. This notion of a backdrop can also be seen in her iconic Chanel N°5 perfume. At the time, many fragrance companies were selling floral, ‘feminine’ fragrances, but Coco felt women should smell like women. She created something crisp and elegant, allowing other accessories to stand out, should the woman desire. This scent is so classic and simple, that still to this day it is one of the most popular fragrances.
Both of these components, the quality and the popularity are why Chanel’s items are so expensive. You are investing in an item that will last your lifetime and even longer. Vintage Chanel sells daily and for great prices. There are often waitlists for current styles, so many people will look to Vintage to get something similar, yet quicker. You’ll be able to pass down your Chanel item to the next generations to come.
Coco Chanel inspired a dream in women; a dream where they could be independent, successful and look good doing it. This dream is here to last (and become reality!), as are Chanel’s many popular items. The price of a Chanel piece is the price of a legacy.