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Coco Chanel designed her first bag in 1929, but like all the others available to upper-class women during the era, it was hand-carried and cumbersome. In February 1955 (thus the 2.55 moniker), she debuted the shoulder-carried version and changed handbag history. For the first time, it was acceptable for women of considerable social status to carry a bag on their shoulders.

The Signature Double CC Lock Didn't Debut Until the 80s

It's hard to imagine a handbag market in which most Chanel flap bags aren't festooned with interlocking CC locks, but until Lagerfeld added them to the bags and spun off the Classic Flap in the 1980s, Chanel's flap bags bore the logo-free Mademoiselle Lock the 2.55 Flap Bags hold today. The Mademoiselle Lock gets its name from the fact that Coco Chanel never married.

The 2.55's Interior Was Inspired by Orphans. More specifically, the shade of burgundy leather that has long been used to line the original flap bags (as well as some Classic Flaps) was chosen because of the uniforms worn by Coco and her fellow charges at the convent orphanage where she was raised.

Chanel Flap Bags Owe Several Debts of Inspiration to Men
Chanel's signature quilting was purportedly inspired by the jackets worn by male stablehands that Coco was particularly fond of. Also, Chanel's most recent flap bag line, the Boy Bag, was named after and inspired by Coco's longtime lover, polo player Boy Capel.