Chanel’s New “Kelly” Bag: Vintage with Modern Minimalism

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Chanel, synonymous with luxury and timeless elegance, has unveiled a bag that beautifully intertwines its storied past with contemporary fashion dynamics. While not officially dubbed the ‘Kelly,’ this new release from the Fall/Winter ’23/’24 runway unmistakably carries the essence and design nuances reminiscent of the iconic Chanel Kelly bags from the past.

Speaking of names, unless part of one of the cornerstone bag families, Chanel rarely names a bag and rather defines it by the style number, which is how shoppers sometimes wind up giving a name to the bags themselves!

@purseblog

The Chanel “Kelly” bag is getting a lot of hype before its release, and I got my hands on it to review! #45secondbagreview #chanelreview #chanelkelly #handbagtiktok

? original sound – Megs Mahoney Dusil

The original Hermès Kelly bag, with its quintessential elegance, has long been a prized possession for many in the fashion world. While Hermès’s version stands as a hallmark, Chanel introduced its own take in the 80s and 90s that evoked similar allure.

This updated version of the bag is part of Chanel’s “Nano Shopping” theme within its Fall-Winter 2023/24 Ready-to-wear collection and walked the runway. It immediately grabbed the attention and admiration of Chanel lovers thanks to its archival elements with a new spin.

The new Chanel Bag in Coral (AS4416). Shiny Aged Calfskin / Aged Pale Yellow Metal.

Echoes of a Bygone Era

The very recognizable top-handle design of the Kelly bag is synonymous with luxury and poise. The distinct handle, often referred to as the ‘Kelly handle,’ became emblematic of a particular style era. It’s ladylike and demure, with a structured shape and handheld carry. This updated Chanel release, while charting its own course, cannot help but remind enthusiasts of that signature design. It also takes strong design cues from the Chanel Party Kelly from the late 1990s.

Vintage Chanel Jumbo Kelly

A vintage Caviar Quilted Jumbo Kelly Flap Black from 2000. Available at Fashionphile for $3,055.

Chanel Vintage Party Kelly

Chanel Lambskin Party Kelly from the late 90s. Available at WGACA.

However, Chanel’s current incarnation stands apart. While vintage inspirations are clear, the bag is a distinct entity, bringing modern design elements.

Chanel Coral Small Kelly Bag (3 of 8)
Chanel Coral Small Kelly Bag (4 of 8)

Design Evolution and Noteworthy Features

  • Prominent Quilting: The signature Chanel quilting is bolder, offering a tactile sensation and an enhanced visual appeal.
  • Modernized Fastening: The tab closure offers a contemporary flair, deviating from the full flap of the original.
  • Handle Dynamics: The once slender handle of the vintage Kelly now has more heft. The enlarged top handle offers a playful disproportion against the bag’s small frame.
  • Material and Lining: Featured on the F/W ’24 runway, it comes in shiny aged calfskin and jersey, both complemented by a full leather lining.
  • Versatility in Carrying: The bag features flat leather handles and a crossbody leather and chain strap. The chain can be fully tucked in, offering users the option to hand-carry the bag, or worn over the shoulder or crossbody. It is not removable, however.
  • Small but Mighty: While compact, the interior does offer a zip pocket and an open flat pocket (each of these can fit a of couple credit cards and ID)
Chanel Coral Small Kelly Bag (5 of 8)

The closure, opened.

Chanel Coral Small Kelly Bag (6 of 8)

The interior detail.

The New Sizes and Prices

Offered in two sizes, the photographed version (pictured here, AS4416) is part of Chanel’s handbag lineup, measures 5.1” x 7.4” x 2.7”, and retails at $4,400.

A more compact version (AP3435), part of Chanel’s small leather goods (SLG) line, stands at 3.2” x 4.9” x 1.5” and has a price point of $3,000.

Chanel Coral Small Kelly Bag (7 of 8)

A view of the interior of the new Chanel bag. The rear features a zippered pocket, the front an open pocket.

Chanel Coral Small Kelly Bag (8 of 8)

In Conclusion

Chanel’s latest addition bridges the gap between nostalgia and contemporary fashion demands. The design elements from the past are unmistakable, but this bag has a new spin (and a very excited group of aficionados waiting to purchase). If you think it looks recently familiar, Margot Robbie wore it not once, but twice, during her Barbie premiere press junket.

Margot Robbie Pink Chanel Bag

Margot Robbie at the Barbie premiere with this new Coral Chanel bag.

This new bag will be available in early to mid-September at select Chanel boutiques nationwide. Contact your local boutique or call (800) 550-0005.

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