My first Chanel!
Years and years ago I first laid eyes on the stitched through leather, the burgundy inside, the CC locks and the silver woven chain of the Chanel 2.55 and daydreamed of maybe one day being able to purchase myself this ultimate classic and symbol of French fashion (fun fact: the 2.55 refers to the first release of the bag in February of 1955).
Sooner than I had expected, I found myself in a Chanel situation. I was in Paris for an amazing work trip (coincidentally for Chanel’s beauty products, so I think it was meant to be). I stepped in to the beautiful boutique on 31 Rue Cambon – it was the very first Chanel boutique and is located below Coco Chanel’s lavishly decorated apartment, where models used to show collections to prospective buyers. My heart skipped a beat, when I noticed the classic 2.55 flap bag that usually has a waiting list was standing right there. The stars seemed aligned. I was in Paris, in the first boutique, on a trip with Chanel, and I had saved up for an entire year for other expenses that turned out to be less and I know these bags go wildly up in price every year.
Simply put: it was now or never. But I still wasn’t sure if I should. Could I justify such a purchase, even though I had worked hard for it myself and it was one of my long time dreams? After not being able to sleep all night, endlessly going over scenarios and given that circumstances would never again be this perfect, I decided it was now.
Early in the morning, after coffee and a pain au chocolate, I walked back to the store with the support of two other journalists who by this time were nearly as excited as myself. I’ve hardly ever had a bigger smile on my face than when I pointed out the classic 2.55 to the older French saleswoman and told her I was buying my first Chanel. (She didn’t seem all too impressed and I get why with all the tourists deciding on multiple bags without so much as blinking an eye. Surreal!). I carefully tried it on, felt the caviar leather, inspected the departments on the inside, let the woven silver chain run through my fingers and a little while later I was sitting in a separate room to swipe my credit card. The saleswoman was waiting for me holding up a huge white bag, with my 2.55 beautifully packed in a big box with a Chanel ribbon and white camellia on it – Coco’s favorite flower and a symbol of the fashion house. I was over the moon at this point (as you could see here) and believe it made her melt a bit, her eyes had started twinkling and she walked me and my bag all the way to the door.
Now I’m back home in Amsterdam, where I have the bag displayed besides my bed and I’m already a bit sentimentally attached to it. It’s something I wanted to do for myself once in a lifetime, and I know my bag will be worn and loved for decades to come.