Have you ever wondered how the Boy Chanel ever came into creation? Well, the story pretty much goes like this. The avant-garde bag was designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld who was inspired by the hunters’ cartridge pouches that Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel often wore over her shoulders. It came in a rectangular shape (a classic silhouette at the French luxury brand) furnished with enlarged gourmette chains and that unmistakable graphic clasp, all of which were androgynous elements fitted into a single bag cleverly named Boy Chanel. It first made an appearance at Chanel’s Fall-Winter 2011 runway presentation in Paris, which makes it almost 10 years old at the time of writing. And today, it has sealed its position as an icon of the house, sitting alongside popular favourites like the Classic Flap and 2.55, all of which are timeless designs that you can find over at Chanel.
Each Boy Chanel is crafted using exact standards that keep in line with Chanel’s tradition of luxury bag-making. First, the leather is selected using a strict criteria before it is put to the test in the ateliers. This includes checking for several qualities like if the leather can hold the colour after being dyed, making sure that it has high tensile strength (a stress test for wear and tear), and of course, being able to withstand basic weather conditions so that you can be sure it remains in good shape despite the occasional drizzle or an accidental water spill.
After that, the leather goes into production, which starts with the creation of a main body and frame, finished with two perfectly rectilinear seams that emphasise the graphic nature of the bag. The leather frame would then house an insert that’s stitched above it, which could include elements like the familiar quilted calfskin (in chevron or diamond), or materials like denim, tweed or velvet, just to name a few.
Next, the bag’s lining and base will be assembled inside out, before it is sewn together with the frame and finished with point de bride stitching at the edges to complete the leather ensemble. Lastly, the finishing touches. These include the addition of the now iconic Lego-like clasp placed on the flap before it’s secured using a metal backplate fixed on the other side. The fasteners, rings and gourmette chain (unique to the Boy Chanel) are then secured in place, before the bag undergoes a final check and is carefully wrapped up in the black Chanel box, all ready to be shipped over to a boutique near you.
The bag with its boyish allure goes beyond conventional ideas of ‘feminine’ and ‘pretty’, returning season after season in all-new colours and designs (in terms of the ‘insert’) for you to consider. And for Spring-Summer 2020, it will be available in colours like Dark Blue (SGD7200) and Yellow (SGD6620), paired with chevron-quilted calfskin and gold-tone metallic hardware. The former comes in the regular size and measures 25 cm by 15 cm, while the latter measures 20.5 cm wide and 12 cm, is known as the Small today.