With the Chanel 22 bag, Virginie Viard has created a piece of laidback elegance perfect for our time. The bag was introduced on the catwalk when Chanel showed their SS22 ready-to-wear collection in October last year. It is inherently casual and was met with both excitement and skepticism after the launch.
Chanel’s bags are almost as legendary as the house’s perfumes. Coco Chanel launched her first handbag in 1929. It was a holdable bag as the norm dictated. Not until she launched the now iconic 2.55 in February 1955 was the shoulder strap introduced. Until then, it was unacceptable for women of a certain social class to carry a bag over their shoulder. So, the 2.55 was a small handbag revolution.
Now Virgine Viard have created a revolution of her own, because the Chanel 22 is so different from everything we associate with a designer bag that it literally takes time to get used to. Visually, it completely differs from all the bags in the fashion house’s history: It is younger, fresher and more casual than normally associated with a traditional Chanel bag, one could be tempted to say it looks more like a glorified gym bag than an expensive It-bag.
Although the shape and overall style is vastly different from other Chanel bags it does have all the codes of the house: the quilted leather, the classic chain strap interlaced with leather, and the name which is a clear homage to numerology. Coco Chanel was known to be completely obsessed with the pseudoscientific belief that there is a divine mystical relationship between numbers and events. Chanel 22 reflects both the year 2022 as well as the perfume No.22 which was launched in 1922. Viard’s vision is freedom of movement, which was also Coco Chanel’s driving force when she launched her clothing brand at the beginning of the last century.
Chanel 22 has a magnetic lock and drawstring, is just the right size to fit everything in it, whether you are going to work, the beach, strolling with your baby or going to the gym. It comes in small, medium and large and a backpack edition. To add an extra summer vibe, it comes in the colors pink and lilac as well as classic black and white.
Runway photos: Chanel