Classic Chanel icons like the 2.55 and the Classic Flap have always been the go-to silhouette for anyone looking for a flap bag from the French luxury house. There have been numerous designs and colours released over the years (decades even), yet the two signature pieces for anyone new to the world of Chanel would be both icons in black leather, which are as classic as it gets. And while some of you might confuse one for the other, this post will explain the differences once and for all. For those already familiar with both bags, consider this your refresher.
Just remember the acronym CHANEL which stands for Clasp, Hardware, Anniversary, Number (of sizes), Exotics and Leather and you will never go wrong.
C – Clasp The most significant difference between the two bags would be the clasp. With the 2.55, you will find the Mademoiselle lock which comes in a rectangular shape and finished with the CHANEL logo text. The Classic Flap, on the other hand, comes with the double CC turn-style lock introduced by Karl Lagerfeld.
H – Hardware Next, the hardware differs slightly between the two. The hardware on the 2.55 comes in an aged metallic finish, while the Classic Flap features polished metal hardware. The differences extend to the strap, which sees a full chain-link strap on the 2.55, while the Classic Flap sports leather interwoven between the gold or silver tone links.
A – Anniversary The 2.55 changed history when it was created in February 1955 (hence the name 2.55) because it gave women a new option of carrying handbags, over the shoulder. The Classic Flap was created as a reinterpretation of the 2.55 bag silhouette by Karl Lagerfeld when he took over in the 1980s.
N – Number (of sizes) Aside from the seasonal variations that are introduced during the runway shows, the comparisons of sizes will be done based on the typical black leather variations that are considered house classics.
Currently, there are 3 sizes for the 2.55, starting with the regular (SGD7990) that measures 24 cm by 16 cm. The next size up would be the Large (SGD8930) that’s taller and wider at 28 cm by 19.5 cm. The largest of the lot? The Maxi (SGD9680) which comes in at 31.5 cm by 20 cm.
In comparison, the Classic Flap has 4 sizes. Small (SGD7100) is the ‘tiniest’ at 23 cm by 14.5 cm, with the regular (SGD7990) measuring 26 cm by 16 cm. For those who feel bigger is better, the Large (SGD8930) is 30 cm by 19.5 cm, while the Maxi (SGD9680) comes in at 33 cm by 23 cm.
E – Exotics While both bags do come in exotic offerings, it is much rarer to find the 2.55 in options other than leather. Do a quick search of it online and you will hardly come across any and only a small number is likely to show up. But that pales in comparison to the Classic Flap that almost always comes in crocodile or python season after season.
L – Leather The 2.55, specifically the 2005 Reissues, comes in an aged calfskin for that rich textured look, while the Classic Flap comes in either Caviar (grained calfskin) or smooth lambskin. The Reissue was created to celebrate 50 years of the 2.55 back in February 2005 by Karl Lagerfeld, and has since been referred to as the common standard for 2.55 bags going forward. The differences in leather used also results in the 2.55 having a softer and relaxed finish compared to the Classic Flap which often comes in a more structured body and finish.