The Chanel 2.55 is a luxury leather handbag or purse manufactured by the fashion house of Chanel.
In the 1920s, Coco Chanel became tired of having to carry her handbags in her arms and decided to design a handbag that freed up her hands. Inspired by the straps found on soldiers’ bags she added thin straps and introduced the resulting design to the market in 1929.
After her successful comeback to the fashion industry in 1954, Chanel decided to update her handbag. The resulting design was called 2.55 after the date of creation, February 1955.
The bag has a number of features:
Since its introduction, there have been several variations of the original design including different colour leather/fabric combinations, metal and interwoven leather straps and the lock, mademoiselle vs. interlocking CC.
Chanel released an exact copy of the original 2.55 in February 2005 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the original. Though the name “Reissue 2.55” should apply only to those commemorative handbags it is now commonly used as a name for all the handbags resembling the original 2.55.
Since the 2.55's release in 1955, its pricing has far outpaced inflation. One research study into its price history revealed that price increases between 1955 and 1990 were generally explained by inflation, but there has been a rapid value increase since 1990 and especially 2010. Specifically, its price has increased from $2850 in 2010 to almost $5000 as of 2016.