Handbags & Accessories

Chanel Boy Bag: The ‘It-Girl’ Staple

By Erica Kagan
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Chanel Boy

History of Chanel Boy Bag

The Chanel Boy Bag debuted in the Chanel Fall/Winter collection of 2011, striking a chord among Chanel bag lovers and romantics alike. Despite its emergence only a decade ago, the Chanel Boy has cemented a place as a mainstay in Chanel bag collections. As the story goes, explained by legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, “Chanel used men’s underwear to make dresses; she had this boyish attitude, in fact, it is the very spirit of Chanel. She got it from Boy Capel, the great love of her life, which, incidentally, explains why the new bag is called the Boy Chanel.” Arthur “Boy” Capel was an English polo player, as well as Coco Chanel’s muse and greatest love, with whom she had a passionate nine-year affair. Boy Capel championed Coco’s radical spirit, and supported her mission to push the boundaries of femininity and gender norms. With the Chanel Boy Bag, Chanel pays homage to this very spirit and inspired relationship.

Chanel Boy

Desired among shoppers for its more masculine shape, the Chanel Boy Bag is characterized by its lego-brick lock and main body framed by straight edges. A departure from the more classic Chanel bag styles, the Boy Bag lured in hip, edgy ‘it-girls,’ including Stella Maxwell and Miley Cyrus. Constantly met with a surge of demand, the Chanel Boy remains at the top of the wish-list for a new generation of handbag shoppers.

Chanel Boy

Chanel Boy Bag Variations

In addition to its versatile silhouette, the Chanel Boy Bag is admired for the range of size availability and unique, limited-edition versions that drop each season. Hence, with each new collection comes exciting and unexpected variations of the Chanel Boy, keeping the Chanel community always eager for more.

Since its launch in 2011, the Chanel Boy has been released in six sizes at various points in time: the mini, small, old medium, new medium, large, and XL. The uniquely identifiable elements of the Chanel Boy Bag have also been translated into different silhouettes, including the tote, clutch, traditional wallet, and Chanel Boy wallet on chain (WOC).

Chanel Boy Bag

Chanel Boy Bag Signature Features

From quilting to hardware, the Chanel Boy is characterized by defining features that are seamlessly integrated into distinct, limited-edition variations. The Chanel Boy Bag is most frequently released in a classic quilt, but other body patterns include the sleek chevron quilting, and ‘reverso’ quilting, which has an unquilted body and a quilted frame. Among the rarest iterations of the Boy Bag is one with a horizontal quilt, and because of its limited availability, this style remains highly sought-after.

Chanel Boy Bag

With such a versatile frame, the Chanel Boy has been crafted in a range of materials, from diverse leathers to luxurious textiles. The most common leathers include caviar, lambskin, patent and goatskin, while tweed and leather are the predominant fabrics. Other unique editions have included canvas, PVC, and denim textiles. It is also worth noting that the Chanel Boy Bag has been released in bold combinations of exotic materials, including crocodile, python and stingray. In 2018, after Chanel announced that they would no longer produce items with exotic materials, the already hefty price tags on these particular Chanel Boy Bag styles skyrocketed on the resale market.

Even the most distinguishable element of the Chanel Boy Bag, the lego-brick lock with a double CC center, has varied over the years. Evidently, the Boy Bag is constantly experimented with, solidifying it as a highly coveted piece that is simultaneously classic and avant-garde.

Chanel Boy Bag Medium

Chanel Boy Bag Price

Chanel Boy Bag Medium retail price was $3,200 when it was first released. After the recent price increase in March 2023, the Chanel Boy Bag retail price is $6,600 for the medium size in leather. Since 2017, the Chanel Boy Bag Medium price has increased 40%. Chanel boy bags in pristine condition on resale marketplaces like Sotheby's are selling at prices very close to retail due to strong demand and supply constraints in retail stores. Resale prices for Chanel Boy Bags have increased at about the same rate as retail prices.

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