Handbags and Accessories

Complete Review of the Chanel Vanity Bag

By Lindsey Weiss
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Chanel Vanity

The Chanel Vanity Bag

Ingenious designer Karl Lagerfeld was a master of creation, thoughtfully linking his novel ideas with the historical legacy of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Thus, as the self-declared “channeler of Coco,” Lagerfeld stayed loyal to her most iconic designs, seamlessly adapting them for the modern woman. When Karl Lagerfeld took the reins of Maison Chanel in 1983, the success of his vision was immediate, as he inserted ready-to-wear into popular culture and restored Haute Couture to its former glory. In combining the allure of his own persona with that of Coco’s, Lagerfeld preserved Chanel’s image as the ultimate luxury brand. As such, the tremendous range of Lagerfeld's designs during his tenure were inspired by history, but always unexpected, and the Chanel Vanity is a prime example of this unique intersection.

Chanel Round Vanity, 1995

History of Chanel Vanity Bag

Reminiscent of a jewelry box, or the cases women used to carry cosmetics and toiletries during travel, the Chanel Vanity bag is a modern interpretation of Audrey Hepburn-era accessories. The earliest iteration of the Chanel Vanity appeared during the ‘90s, released in black caviar leather with the iconic interlocking CC logo. While this style remained incredibly rare due to limited production at the time, the Chanel Vanity bag was reimagined for the Chanel Airlines Spring/Summer 2016 collection. Versatile and chic, the revived Chanel Vanity was an instant hit, including all the staple features of a classic Chanel bag. Much like the practical structure of real luggage, this Chanel Vanity unzips around the entire perimeter and contains numerous compartments for storage. Additionally, with both a shoulder strap and handle, the Chanel Vanity can be carried on the shoulder or held in hand. Lagerfeld designed the 2016 Chanel Vanity bag to be novel and glamorous in appearance, but practical and versatile in function, and he achieved just that.

Chanel Vanity Bag

Vintage Chanel Vanity Bag

An excellent condition Vintage Chanel Vanity bag is highly sought after by Chanel bag collectors. The vintage Chanel Vanity is often black caviar leather with raised embossed double C on the front and a top handle. A vintage Chanel Vanity bag sometimes comes with a strap and lock and keys. It has a zip around top and opens to a large compartment with a side pocket. The Chanel vanity is a structured bag and the zip around top makes it a little more challenging to use this bag for every day errands. If you are using a shoulder strap, you can leave the zip top partially open to slide items in and out but the front zip Chanel Vanity Bag requires being a little more creative. You can leave just the top part unzipped but otherwise the front zip Chanel Vanity Bag is better if you can set the bag down when you are using it.

Chanel Filigree Vanity Case

Modern Chanel Vanity Bag

For the Cruise 2020 show, Chanel launched the already iconic Chanel Vanity Bag in a PVC patent leather model. Immediately, Chanel’s PVC Vanity sent shockwaves through the fashion world, surpassing the Hermès Birkin in immediate market resale value. Glamorized with pure platinum hardware and hand-dyed patent leather, the Chanel Vanity bags from this collection were guaranteed to be 100% unique. From leather and rattan to denim and PVC, each variation of the Chanel Vanity Bag is highly collectible, unmistakably Chanel, and deserving of a spot in any luxury handbag collection. As a result of such high demand from Chanel clients, radical variations of the Chanel Vanity continue to pop up in seasonal collections. Notably, the Chanel Vanity bag was released for the Spring-Summer 2018 show in tweed and exotic leathers, signifying the final year Chanel would use exotic animal skin or fur in any collection.

Chanel Mini Vanity Case

Chanel Mini Vanity Case

Mini Chanel bags are very popular and now available in all of the most popular styles including the Chanel Vanity Bag. The Chanel Mini Vanity Case works well as an evening bag but not as useful for an every day bag due to its size and zip around closure. Items could easily fall out or the Chanel Mini Vanity Case unless you can set the bag down on a surface before opening and closing.

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