When I was a little girl I loved to play in my mother’s designer laden closet. I loved to walk around in her shoes, model her clothes in the mirror, and play make believe with her handbags. When I grew older and I was able to wear some of her things, she practically had to fight me off with a broom to keep me out of her closet. And when she wasn’t looking I’d swipe a sweater or two and wear it to school, only to rush home and put it back in its place before it could be discovered missing.
As an adult I have been able to buy my own things, and my mom and I are no longer the same size in clothes. After I had my daughter, my feet grew, and although her heels are getting shorter and mine are still pretty steep, there has been a Prada loafer here or a Chanel flat there that she has ordered that did not work out to which I then became the beneficiary.
I thought the days of my mom fighting me off with a broom to stay out of her closet were long behind us until I picked up a passion for vintage Chanel bags, and discovered that there was a nice little collection right under my nose.
My mom, who I affectionately named Flossy when I was about 20 years old, began collecting Chanel bags perhaps in the 1980’s when we still lived in Maryland. And when she and my dad moved to Louisiana in 1990, when I was a freshman in college in Washington, DC, it appears that she kept collecting. I have always loved the Chanel brand, but I don’t remember caring much about Flossy’s Chanel bags until recently. One day we were in her closet chatting, and I decided to unbox a few of her treasures. Her closet is very well organized with a section for each designer, so I went to the Chanel section of handbags stored in boxes and began the “unboxing.” Some were regulars that I recognized that she wears with certain outfits. As I continued to dig I dusted off boxes that had not seen light for years. The first one I talked her out of was a beautiful black jumbo bag from circa 1997 with gold hardware and smooth lambskin leather. The second was a small rectangular beige caviar bag with a single strap and also had gold hardware. And the third is a more recent patent leather bag with a short strap, silver hardware and the double “C” logo stitched into the front flap.
All three bags were carefully stored in their original dust bags with their original code cards in their original boxes, not a scratch or sign of wear in sight. In preparing to begin this blog I began to research the value of the bags and watch unboxings on YouTube. The vintage bags in excellent condition are sought after and have a large following on luxury resale sites and YouTube channels. While the demand is fascinating to me, I covet my vintage darlings that I acquired from Flossy’s closet, and they have found a permanent home with me.
I have now begun the daunting task of obtaining the information on each Chanel bag in Flossy’s closet, and on the vintage Chanel Bags in my closet. YouTubers and luxury sites such as the RealReal and Fashionphile are good resources. If you are interested in the history of the bags pictured here and how to get the most for your money on the Chanel pre-loved market, stay tuned. Buying authentic Chanel bags from the pre-loved market is a great value if you are not willing to drop $6,000 plus on a new Chanel bag. And the sport of it seems to be intoxicating.