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From the 2.55 to the Boy, a History of Chanel Handbags

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To appreciate the history of Chanel handbags, one has to start with the origins of the purse itself. For the society ladies of Western Europe in the 18th century, bags were effectively pockets, detached from garments and worn around the waist with a band beneath layers of skirt. By the end of the century, however, narrow neo classical silhouettes could no longer camouflage a pocket, so it became a visible purse: a pochette with looped handles. This went on for about a century and a half before Gabrielle Chanel came along and thought, Cant a girl get something hands free? And thus, the chain strapped crossbody bag came into fashion.
In 1909 the House of Chanel was born, founded by the elegant yet swashbuckling Gabrielle  Coco  Chanel. Though shes best known for her nubby bouclé jackets, she started off making accessories hats, to be exact at a millinery shop on Pariss Rue Cambon. As it so famously goes, her Catholic orphanage upbringing instilled in her a unique appreciation for the austerity of the ecclesiastical garb of nuns. (Her rearing with the sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary in Aubazine, France, stopped short, however: Its believed that Gabrielles frequent dalliances with aristo men introduced her to jersey fabric, then a textile for mens undergarments.)

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