Top 5 Iconic Handbags


1
A Pocket for Your Love Letters
Coco Chanel knew the practical elegance of her chained 2.55 would have women swooning.
Coco Chanel knew the practical elegance of her chained 2.55 would have women swooning.
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Introduced: 1955

Seen on: Jackie Kennedy, Katy Perry, Princess Mary of Denmark

You've seen it: It's quilted, chain-strapped, fronted by interlocking C's. The Chanel 2.55 was named for the year it first graced the arms of the wealthy and fashionable: February 1955.

And when we say wealthy and fashionable, we mean princesses and first ladies.

The refined, quilted exterior and gold chain strap are perhaps the most recognizable of its features, but the 2.55 has other notable traits. First off, it was the first purse to feature a shoulder strap.

And it has romance: Legend has it Coco Chanel modeled the quilting on the stained glass windows found in her French hometown; chose burgundy for the lining based on the burgundy uniforms of the orphanage where she grew up; and designated one of the handbag's seven pockets for love notes.

Four decades later, a different purse made history when it passed into Princess Diana's hands.