Jo's Classic Flap

The Heirloom Stories begins! I wanted to do a segment on actual stories of people's heirloom pieces as I hate how the term is abused in this vintage industry without anyone making any effort to actually go and try to do SOME meaningful storytelling rather than random conjecturing (of which I am definitely guilty of). 

Anyways today's story telling features the CLASSICS of classics. The Medium double classic flap. Feature below, is our own classic flap! 

And another photo of it below. Personally I have a love-hate relationship with this bag. I have a blog post where I talk about my rather violent feelings towards its design here!

This is our own classic flap 

Josephine (or Jo as I now call her) is a PhD candidate on Ophthalmology / Clinical Genetics and and intends to be an ophthalmologist in the near future. She is currently based in the Netherlands but her family was originally from Vietnam. She's been an instagram follower for a while and has, as is usually the case, being a very good (online) friend! This is the story of how she came to inherit a family heirloom - her mother’s Chanel classic flap.

vintage Chanel classic flap

Jo’s family is originally from Vietnam, and as with the other featured mothers in this short series, Jo’s mother is a woman who is incredibly well travelled. See her mother pictured below looking like a stunner with the family heirloom!

 vintage Chanel Classic Flap

Back in the day, Chanel bags were not as commonplace as they are now - this was especially true in the Netherlands, where Jo’s mother was living at the timeShe first heard of the classic flap through an acquaintance who called it “the double C” bag. She did not know it yet at the time, but the classic flap style was beginning to make waves in fashionable circles in Europe. 

The first time Jo’s mother saw the classic flap was in Belgium during an innocuous day trip to Antwerp. The boutique was tucked away in a corner of a quiet street - a stark contrast to the huge lines we see today outside of every Chanel store. 

Even though Jo’s mother had never seen a “double C” bag before, having only heard the description of it through her acquaintance, she recognized it instantly when she saw it in on display at the boutique. (All credit goes to her acquaintance for providing what was probably an incredibly detailed description!)

As tempted as she was, she didn’t buy the double C bag on the spot, as unlike our current shopping habits, good but expensive items had to be saved up for and thoughtfully considered.  

One year later, Jo’s mother had saved up enough money to buy the double C bag, and went back to the Antwerp boutique. After trying on a few sizes, she settled for the small, being petite (very much in line with our Diana sizing suggestions!) She decided on black because it was a timeless color,  and lambskin as her leather of choice   as she thought it looked more elegant (again, very in line with our usual suggestions).  

That was how it came to be that Jo’s mother purchased a 5 series, black lambskin classic flap with gold hardware.

 vintage Chanel classic Flap

Jo has always known of this precious double C bag as it is one of her mother’s prized possession, only to be used for important occasions like weddings and overseas vacation trips. (It is not to be used for quick grocery runs!!)

vintage Classic Chanel flap 

The bag has made an appearance in many of Jo’s milestones (see above for one such event). Jo’s first time using the bag was at her high school graduation party (this seems to be an ongoing trend) and it was also used again during her university graduation and finally medical school graduation. It is a bag to be used for achievements and special celebratory occasions hopefully for many generations to come!