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Why we’re so invested in Chanel…

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Everyone loves a “rags to riches” story and Chanel enthusiasts are no exception. The romantic, colourful chapters of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel’s life are often reflected in her designs, only adding to the allure of the brand’s luxury handbags. Whether admirer, collector or investor, you will have no doubt noticed the increasing price tag for some of the best-known Chanel designs in recent years. Indeed, many have even turned to the luxury handbag market in general as a means of investment diversification, seeing greater returns than from their classic cars and rare whiskies. So, we’re asking the question: why are we so invested in Chanel?


Where did it all begin?

Born into poverty and raised in a French convent, the odds were firmly stacked against the young Gabrielle Chanel, who would ultimately go on to rule Parisian haute couture under her now better-known nickname, Coco. During her time as a shop assistant and café singer in the town of Moulins, Chanel became acquainted with many wealthy aristocrats, who soon discovered her innate sense of style and talent for creating hats. With financial assistance from her new-found associates, Chanel went on to open her first fashion boutique in Deauville, in 1913. 

From the very beginning, Chanel demonstrated what some have described as a rebellious attitude, but what others may describe as innovative and forward-thinking. Her assertion that ‘luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury’ demonstrated a deep understanding of an audience seeking respite from the confines of corsets, and she made her name by designing women’s clothing that was practical, simple, comfortable; yet still stylish. Having later expanded her range into jewellery, handbags and perfume, Chanel’s empire was booming by the 1920s.

Dubbed the 2.55 (after the date of its release in February 1955), Chanel’s now iconic Flap Bag is rumoured to be somewhat autobiographical, a nod to some of the more personal details of her life. The burgundy lining is said to represent the uniform she wore at the convent where she was raised. The zipped interior pocket is said to have been created for hiding love letters. And Mademoiselle— the name given to the rectangular clasp — is said to reference the fact that Chanel never married.  


Growth of the luxury market

The appetite for Chanel handbags is as fierce today as when the elegant, yet functional, designs first hit the luxury fashion scene in the 1950s. Perhaps even more so, considering the growing resale market and the desire for rare and vintage models. In their Luxury Handbag Report, Art Market Research observe “the market continues to grow in importance for its ability to attract a new and younger group of collectors to auction. With many passing freely between luxury and fine art departments at major auction houses”.

Spectators have reported on the continued growth across the luxury market and, according to Sotheby's, “luxury prices have been skyrocketing for decades, at over twice the rate of inflation.”  Not surprisingly, luxury handbags - and Chanel in particular - have caught the eye of even the most prudent investors over the years.


Bagging a return on investment

Chanel increased their prices four times between 2020 and the end of 2021, signifying not only the recovery of life after lockdown and increased production costs but the value of Chanel. As the brand itself puts it, “buying a Chanel bag brings with it renowned expertise and French design, an unfailing commitment to preserve skills and craftsmanship, leading-edge innovative manufacture, and guaranteed provenance of the raw materials.” With Sotheby’s research indicating that the Classic Flap and the 2.55 increased in price by 12-15% in just a three month period in 2021, it’s no wonder Chanel is a firm favourite amongst fashionistas and financiers alike. 

Whether it's a vintage Classic Flap bag or a limited edition Carton Lait de Coco, it’s vital that your Chanel collection is adequately insured. Chubb’s valuable articles cover is designed to provide the best coverage for your luxury investments, from worldwide cover to depreciation in value following an insured event.

Protect your luxury handbag collection with Chubb, expert insurers of your most valued possessions.


For more information on Chubb in the UK click here

All content in this material is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute personal advice or a recommendation to any individual or business of any product or service. Please refer to the policy documentation issued for full terms and conditions of coverage.