PHOTOS: This Is How Your Chanel 2.55 Gets Made

Coco Chanel‘s greatest work wasn’t Chanel No. 5 or any of those hats she started selling on the Rue Cambon at the beginning of her career. It was, in our humble opinion, the 2.55, the bag she created in February of 1955. (See where the name comes from?) The 2.55 was really the fashion world’s first handbag with a strap, and as is the case with all good innovations, necessity was the mother it its invention. Chanel had been making and carrying handbags with straps personally since the 20s because, as she once told her biographer Paul Morand, she was “tired of carrying my bag in my hand and losing it, I added a strap and wore it as a shoulder bag.” Makes perfect sense to us — and it makes sense that from the 50s until today, women seeking both utility and style have been buying the bags like hotcakes. Albeit very, very expensive ones.

And now, thanks to our friends at Chanel, we’ve gotten a rare glimpse at how the classic bags are created. Each bag is lovingly created by hand, sewn to the same specifications that Chanel herself decreed decades ago. The Chanel store in Beverly Hills will be celebrating the 2.55 this weekend, so if you’ll be on North Rodeo Drive any time Saturday or Sunday, we’d encourage you to stop in and unlock the secrets of this truly iconic handbag.

If not, check out the slideshow below, which shows a piece of alligator skin being turned into one of the world’s most ubiquitous handbags.

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