Vintage Chanel handbags: 5 things to know before making your first purchase

Nathalie Salmon

Few pieces have become as sought after as the vintage Chanel bag. Luckily, there are now plenty of places online where we can source the treasured item and ensure we’re contributing to a circular and sustainable wardrobe while doing so.

But how do you make sure you make the right decision when it comes to buying a vintage Chanel bag? Well, that’s where the expert comes in. Many of you will know Jackariaeh Francis as the face behind the brand Parisian sweetness. He is a Paris-London based fashion retailer, collector and stylist who mainly specializes in vintage Chanel handbags, jewelry and accessories.

READ: You thought you knew everything about Coco Chanel? Think again.

Chanel bags are a wardrobe staple

He is known to his loyal Instagram followers for his quick wit and “Hot or Not” designer bag reviews, peppered with plenty of historic handbag facts on the platform. He is also passionate about ancient bags and promotion sustainability, “Sustainability is something that I have always embraced and supported from the beginning of my career,” Jackariaeh told us. “I help teach my followers about authentication, I regularly share tips and tricks when it comes to buying your first beloved handbags, how to secure yourself some of the best financial investments and brands to avoid when buying in-store fresh, pre-loved, or in the secondary market.” Jackariaeh adds, “Buying a vintage Chanel handbag isn’t just about sustainability. It’s about channeling a definite moment in fashion history and revisiting these iconic style setters from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Think René Zelwegger wearing the Chanel reissue in the biopic of Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn in the 1960s. There’s a magic to these vintage pieces that only adds to their allure.

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If you’re looking to make your first investment in buying a vintage Chanel bag, there are of course some key things you should pay attention to… We asked Jackariaeh to share her top tips to keep in mind and answers to our most important questions when it comes to making your first vintage Chanel purchase.

5 things to consider before buying a vintage Chanel bag:

How to buy a vintage Chanel bag?

First, make sure you always buy from a reputable dealer, avoid buying from online auction sites unless you have a buyer’s money back guarantee or protection, never wire transfer unless it is a trusted seller. The market is saturated with mirror image knockoffs and no matter how good the photos are if the price is too good to be true it probably is.

How do I know if my vintage Chanel is in good condition?

Buying a part in excellent or good condition is very important after making sure the part is 100% genuine. Check condition, pay too much for a piece with heavy corner wear or took a trip to a handbag spa and had it repainted, I try to avoid if possible…unless the price is extremely within reason. Light touch-up of the corners is good as long as it’s done well. I know myself that we all need a little maintenance after spending a few years on this planet. Treat your handbag like you would treat your skin.

Which vintage Chanel bag should I buy?

There’s nothing quite like buying a beautiful black classic Chanel with gold or palladium hardware, I always say buy timeless pieces, avoid trends and remember that if you take care of this coin as a small portable savings account, it will pay you dividends.

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Invest in a classic colorway

Which material should I turn to?

Find out exactly which leather best suits your lifestyle, lambskin is a much more delicate leather if you are a woman or a man who weighs more heavily on your handbags than we recommend caviar or leather calfskin as they are much more durable because let’s face it your bag can end up looking like two tricks with Mike Tyson if you choose recklessly.

Are Chanel bags increasing in value?

Chanel increases the prices of its classic design handbags year after year. Since the pandemic, the cost of production and labor has meant that supply cannot keep up with demand. Consequently, the secondary market is booming, so if you are in a position to buy a vintage classic flap, don’t hesitate as it is a style investment you won’t regret. Cross.

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