A Love Story
Female Singapore|April 2021
Even before he started his holy grail of a namesake website and Instagram account expounding on the world of luxury fashion, Bagaholicboy – designer bag connoisseur and long-time collaborator of Female – made it his quest to demystify the allure of the Chanel 11.12 handbag. Together with the French maison, Female gets him to share about his fascination for this iconic design and how he got a legion of others to love it too.
Noelle Loh
“Growing up, the Chanel 11.12 – or Classic – handbag had always been there. You didn’t have to really know fashion to know that there was this bag from Chanel that was popular and generally very visible in media and pop culture. I’m referring to a time when the Internet was scant with information on designer bags and social media had not exploded. I had already started working and was thus getting interested in luxury items.

When I started Bagaholicboy as a blog dedicated to covering designer bags in 2007, finding out more about the Chanel 11.12 naturally became a chief quest. I wanted to know the story behind it. For example, prior to my research, I had always assumed that it had been designed by Coco Chanel, but it’s actually the work of Karl Lagerfeld who had based it on the 2.55 handbag that she had created in 1955, introducing it 27 years later in the early ’80s. (For the layman who doesn’t know the difference between the two bags, I always say that the easiest way to distinguish between them is to look at the clasp: The one on the 2.55 is rectangular; the one on the 11.12 is in the form of the double ‘C’.)

I also wanted to know what made this bag so special: Why is it so significant in the world of Chanel? And why did people seem to love it so much? Then there were far fewer women on the streets carrying the Chanel Classic as there are now, but it was still one of the most distinctive styles you would see out and about. Its quilted leather finish; its clasp; its metal chain that comes interlaced with leather – there were few bags then that sported such details and while I can’t say the same now, it remains as distinct.

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