The Guide to Chanel Bag Colors
In her extraordinary life and career, Coco Chanel revolutionized the fashion world in ways that remain relevant today. Her use of color was particularly striking. It’s hard to believe now, but before Chanel, black was not a color fashionable women would ever wear!
Color was deeply meaningful to Chanel, who famously said, “The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you." With this aphorism in mind, let’s explore Chanel bag colors throughout the years. Since Chanel doesn’t name specific shades and a single color can express many personalities, we’ll also examine the Chanel color code.
Classic Chanel Bag Colors
Since its inception, four classic Chanel colors have formed the core of the brand's color story. Black, white, beige and red Chanel bags will always be the design house’s foundation. Additional colors in many distinctive shades come and go with the seasons. However, black, white and beige remain widely popular and are often the best-selling Chanel colors of the year.
In 1926, at the height of the Roaring Twenties, fashionable women eschewed the color black as symbolic of servitude and mourning. This was the reigning outlook until Chanel’s Little Black Dress took the fashion world by storm. This classic Chanel color reminded Coco of the monastic severity of the nuns’ habits at the Aubazine orphanage where she was raised. She believed that the color black beautifully framed and highlighted a woman’s natural radiance.
A quilted black Chanel bag will always be the epitome of chic. As one of the most colorful characters in fashion history, Chanel said, “When I find a color darker than black, I’ll wear it. Until then, I'm wearing black.
Another color Chanel loved was the purity of white. Calling to mind her first communion dress and the convent nuns’ cornettes, white featured in Chanel’s personal trademarks, like her signature pearls and camelia, as well as her fashions. She cherished the way the color reflects light up to a woman’s face, further illuminating her features.
Coco Chanel particularly appreciated white as the ideal counterpoint to black. She said, “Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is perfect harmony.
Leave it to Coco Chanel to transform a color mistaken for boredom and make it sexy. In different seasons, the Chanel color beige takes on a variety of different tones. Some seasons, Chanel beige bags lean toward ivory.
In others, it is more of a golden honey hue, or a rich, creamy café au lait. With shades that bring to mind a sun-splashed beach or a glowing, healthy tan, there is something sensual about this neutral shade. Together with brown Chanel bags, every woman’s skin tone is reflected in shades of Chanel beige and brown.
"Red is the color of life, of blood. I love red," proclaimed Chanel. Every shade of the Chanel color red embodies a fiery sense of individuality. The fashion house sees red as conveying passion, courage, and energy.
From the iconic burgundy interior of the 2.55 bag, inspired by her orphanage uniform, to the crimson shades of lipstick she believed could banish sorrow and doubt, Chanel embraced the color red. This is the only hue among the Chanel classic colors that is not neutral. From cherry to sangria, candy apple to fire engine, every shade of Chanel color red stands out and makes a statement. A red Chanel Boy Bag elevates any look in your wardrobe.
Seasonal and Trendy Chanel Bag Colors
Beyond the classic four, Chanel bag colors change with the years and the seasons. These colors can best be categorized by their treatments. For some Chanel colors are whisper-soft pastels, while others are bold and bright. Chanel metallics, ombré, and iridescent colors are always in great demand. Of course, many hues are offered in multiple treatments. Pink Chanel bags alone run the gamut from the softest pastel shades, to electric, ombré and more.
Delicate shades of pink, yellow, blue, lilac, green, and other pastel Chanel colors are elegant in their restraint. These pale hues are beautifully rendered in Chanel leathers like lambskin and Caviar.
In contrast to soft pastel Chanel colors, bright shades like cobalt blue, bubblegum pink, and canary yellow make a statement that’s impossible to miss. Bold Chanel bag colors make perfect accessories for neutral shade ensembles, where the accent color can really shine.
Metallic Chanel bag colors include metals like gold, silver, and copper. But the metallic treatment is also extended to colors like hot pink, turquoise, and navy for an unforgettable appeal.
Chanel iridescent bags are treated to an opalescent finish that is utterly beguiling. The iridescent collection contains all other Chanel bag colors, embellishing each with a rich, mother of pearl shimmer.
Chanel ombré bags take iridescence to new heights. These bags contain two or more Chanel colors or color shades that shimmer and blend into one another. The mermaid collection contains perfect examples.
Guide to Chanel Color Codes
Chanel colors are exquisite and seldom repeated. The iridescent emerald green from the 2018 summer collection is extraordinarily popular. And the delicious shade of caramel from spring 2021 is also in strong demand. Yet neither will be released again. So, how can collectors possibly keep the many shades straight when so many share the same name? After all, Chanel Pink ranges in shades from a whisper to a clarion call.
Chanel color codes hold the key to each of the six Chanel seasons per year. Each code contains a two-digit number for the year and a single letter that correlates to the season:
C = Croisière. Croisière translates as cruise and refers to the resort wear season that comes just before spring.
P = Printemps. This is the Spring season, or Spring/Summer Act 1.
S = Summer. Or Spring/Summer Act Act 2
A = Métiers d’Art. This season pays homage to the extraordinary art professions and the craftsmanship that has made Chanel production so exceptional. This season comes between summer and fall.
B = Fall/Winter, Act 1
K = Fall/Winter, Act 2
Now, you know that the Chanel color code caramel 21P means the specific shade from the spring of 2021.
Find Your Favorite Chanel Colors In Stock
As Chanel’s marketing strategies emulate Hermès’ scarcity, it is becoming even more challenging to locate the Chanel bag color you crave. At Madison Avenue Couture, you’ll discover a wide range of exquisite Chanel colors, shades, and bag styles. All are authentic, in stock, and available for immediate shipping. After all, as Coco Chanel memorably said, “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to go shopping!”