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So WAY back in 2017, I found this bag while on a trip to Colorado to tell our folks that we were expecting our first child.
I LOVE this bag, and it brings back great memories for me. The only ‘issue’ is that the bag itself isn’t an authentic Chanel piece.
In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t matter at all. I’m a big believer in that the only real value a fashion piece has is the value it bring to the owners life. And those memories are very valuable to me. I will likely never get rid of the original bag I picked up because of that.
However, this bag did spark my interest in Chanel and luxury items in general. So I told myself that while I wouldn’t get rid of my replica, I would be trying my best to add the authentic to my collection.
Thus started a four year journey to find the prefect authentic companion for the bag that I loved so much.
Challenges of Finding Vintage Chanel Bags
There were a few challenges to finding this bag.
The first being that I didn’t exactly have a name to search for.
While Chanel does have some iconic styles with memorable names, such as the Diana, the Boy, the Gabrielle and the Classic flap, a lot of their bags also have very generic names. Multiple style of bags can fall under the same name and it makes it difficult to search for just one style in particular. Epically if you know zero about the brand like I initially did.
I spent a good 6 months googling ‘Vintage Chanel bag’, watching Youtube videos and stocking eBay until I finally figured out that this style was called the ‘ Full Flap Matelasse’ style (because of the diamond quilting) from the late 80’s -early 90’s.
The second challenge I faced dealt with quality. The bag I was searching for would be at least 25 years old–if not older. Many of the bags that I’ve found had deteriorating lining on the insides with some structural issues on the outside.
While I by no means needed the bag to be prefect, I did want one in fair good shape. And those would cost a pretty penny.
Which leads me to the third challenge that I dealt with; staying in budget.
As I’ve mentioned in my Chocolate Bar Chanel blog, vintage pieces can sometimes come at a staggering price. I was unwilling to pay the $800-$1,000 for this bag in good condition when I first started looking for it. But I soon found out that was a mistake if I wanted to get the best deal.
Now these bags start at $1k. And many of them are in awful condition.
Finding ‘THE’ Bag
I did end up finding the prefect replacement bag for me, but it wasn’t the easiest task and I had to make some compromises.
As mentioned above, a lot of the vintage bags hitting the market at the moment have higher price tags with many being in shotty condition.
Generally, I like to look at trusted Japanese consignment shops on eBay for my vintage finds, as they are legally obligated to guarantee authenticity. But this time around, I actually got the better deal off of Fashionphile!
I have talked about Fashionphile a few times on this blog and I over all do like the company (although from time to time I will have ab issue with them). Typically they are one of the more expensive consignment shops for luxury. However, I ended up getting a pretty great deal thanks to a few things.
The first being that it was during one of their periodic sales. This particular bag qualified for a $200.00 USD off coupon.
The second thing that worked out in my favor was that since the bag had been sitting on. the site for a short while, it was already discounted 20% off.
I needed up paying around $1,050.00 USD in total for this bag which is pretty close to the budget I wanted.
Over all this bag is the prefect replacement, however, there are a just a few, minor things that I had to compromise on.
What I Compromised On
There were things that I was absolutely not willing to compromise on, such as hardware, quality and price range. However, things such as types of finishes and size were things that I was willing to change up on.
I ended up getting my bag in a jersey fabric, as it was cheaper preloved than the lambskin options. I also opted for the small size, as again, it stayed within my budget.
I was defiantly worried about adding a jersey fabric bag to my collect. It just doesn’t seem as durable as a leather would be. and to be honest, I’m still very cautious about it. However this bag is again over 30 years old and there’s not a single thread out of place. So with proper care, I do think this bag will do just fine.
One issue that I did have was the snap closure. It is partially broken, which makes it difficult to snap shut at times. However, I was okay with this because it is an easy repair.
What I Love About This Bag
What I love most about this bag is its timelessness.
It sounds silly, but this bag is 32 years old and still very much in style. And with proper care, this bag can still be in style by the time my children are old enough to use it. Its a classic piece that has longevity to it and I appreciate that.
I also love how easy this bag is to style. It’s easily dressed up or down and can is prefect for a wide range of occasions. This is a bag that you can take to brunch with your friends or to a nice company dinner.
Lastly, I really enjoy the functionality of this bag. Its a full flap but on the smaller side of things so the flap isn’t fussy. And it’s single compartment with a size zip make it really easy to use as a clutch. For those moments when only only need to carry a few things, this bag is prefect.
This is the bag that started off my love and appreciation for luxury items and Chanel in particular. This style of bag brings back strong memories for me so I’m over the moon about now owning an authentic version of it.
While some compromises were made, overall, I do feel like I was able to find a vintage piece that works for my lifestyle and I’m excited to use it more.
I don’t think that vintage is for everyone, but if it is, you can generally find great deals on classic pieces that will stay in style for years to come.
Personally I find this to be super sustainable, easier on the wallet and helps you to hone in on your personal style.
Are you interested in vintage style bags? Let me know which ones you like down below!