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Which Brand is Better: YSL vs Chanel

Which Brand is Better: YSL vs Chanel

Choosing a luxury bag can be a complicated process. Weighing all pros and cons before paying several thousand dollars takes lots of time and research. If you, like many others, can not decide which brand is better – YSL vs Chanel – here is our helpful guide.

Why do we compare these two labels? Both originated in Paris, and, when it comes to bags, the style is quite similar. Naturally, luxury bag lovers  are looking for reasons to join “Chanel club” or “YSL club”. Yet, there is way more to fashion than just the name. Behind each brand, there is a history, an idea that unites people in one team or the other and makes them devoted fans of the brand.

Let’s take a closer look at these two labels!



YSL vs Chanel: Brand History

Which Brand is Better: YSL vs Chanel yves saint laurent vs coco chanel

The history of these brands is closely connected to the lives of their founders – Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel and monsieur Yves Saint Laurent. Both were long-time designers working for their own companies and great personalities that influenced the fashion world in many ways.

Let’s learn how it all started!



Originated in Paris, France


Founded in 1909 (112 years)


Brief history: Chanel stands out among all other French luxury labels because it was founded by a woman. And what a woman that was!


Coco Chanel had her own vision of style and fashion, which she began to introduce in her own outfits and accessories. Her main idea was to be dressed not only elegantly, but comfortably as well. She didn’t agree with the fashion rules of her era: tight corsets, impractical layers of skirts, purses that you can carry only in your hands.


So, she started by designing chic accessories (like hats) and dresses for herself. Now, we know her as a person who invented the classical Chanel Suit, introduced the first purse with a shoulder strap or made women of the world wear trousers with dignity, yet, these were quite radical ideas in the past.


With the financial support of her lovers, she was able to open her first shops in Paris, Deauville, and Biarritz. The connections with the wealthy clientele (again, thanks to her rich lovers) allowed Coco to establish herself as an influential fashion figure. Women were craving this fresh approach, moreover, it was not only convenient but stylish as well.


Despite being the heart of the label (Coco was designing clothes until her death in 1971), she never had control over the company. However, the owner of the fashion house was respecting Chanel’s natural taste so the legendary patterns were not changed after the appointment of new head designer Karl Lagerfeld.


During his era, the House of Chanel established itself as a brand that sticks to the past and traditions. The bag models were slightly changed, yet the inspiration was always found in the previous silhouettes. When buying Chanel, you always know what to expect.


Style: elegant, practical, traditional.


Major focus on: handbags, perfume.

Originated in Paris, France


Founded in 1961 (60 years)


Brief history: before founding his own company, Yves Saint Lauren worked as a head designer for Christian Dior.


After getting fired, Yves Saint Laurent established his own company, following the trends of the 1960s (pop art) and shocking society with his bold creativity. Graphic dresses, safari jackets, tuxedos for women, unusual designs for that time – Yves Saint Laurent had finally got the chance to express his personality through fashion.


Inspired by the old-fashioned silhouettes of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, the designer gave them a modern look. The primary goal of the designer was to make luxury fashion clothes and accessories affordable for as many people as possible. This desire resulted in the first ready-to-wear boutique ever opened in Paris.


However, the radical fashion ideas stopped bringing any profit after the beginning of the 1990s. The brand was purchased by Gucci, which appointed Tom Ford as the creative director of ready-to-wear collection, while the maestro switched to haute couture.


Monsieur Laurent’s death in 2008 resulted in rapid profit decline, and the brand had to shut the doors of some of its shops across the globe forever. However, Kering, the new owner of the label, announced a huge rebranding.


The initial name and the logo were kept for handbags, shoes, and make-up products. As usual, the news lead to fashion society arguing, with some people claiming  “there is no Laurent without Yves”. Despite omitting a significant part of the label’s name, the key ideas and values remained the same.


Style: celebrating diversity and equality, sensible outfits, revolutionary ideas.


Major focus on: affordable luxury clothes.



  • If we look at the year of foundation, we can state that Chanel is twice older than YSL. It adds to the popularity of Chanel. Most fashionistas prefer it only based on the fact that it’s a company with heritage. Do you feel like belonging to something historical? Choose Chanel.
  • There are two different ideas that stand behind their style. Coco Chanel attempted to make the fashion convenient but elegant, while Yves Saint Laurent created his clothing for courageous and bold women. Do you consider yourself that kind of woman? YSL is the brand for you!
  • Coco Chanel was a self-made designer. She created clothing and accessories to fit her standards in fashion, not thinking about trends. Moreover, she built her empire on the money of the men who loved her. For many people, she is the stylish icon of the century and the example to follow. Do you share this respect for mademoiselle Gabrielle? Choose Chanel to show your admiration.
  • Before founding his own brand, Yves Saint Laurent worked in Dior and already recognized in society. Throughout the years of his career, he promoted brave and bold behavior. He can be called “the father of free and rebellious spirit in fashion”. Feel like global trends are not enough to express yourself? Go for YSL!



YSL vs Chanel: Range of Items

Which Brand is Better: YSL vs Chanel items

Although having started with the production of outfits, both companies have gradually expanded their range of goods. Nowadays, you can find almost anything with the name of a favorite label on it – from lipstick to swimming suits.

Let’s discover the selection of luxury products of each of the brands!





Small leather accessories (wallets)





Make-up products




Small leather goods

Swimwear and lingerie



Fragrances and cosmetics



  •  Chanel devotes more attention to the production of purses. When hearing “Chanel bag” you quickly picture the silhouette in your head – they rarely change. Your aim is a high-quality and recognizable purse? Go for Chanel!
  • Throughout the years, YSL was known for its clothing available for the majority of fashion lovers. The brand sticks to this tradition and focuses on the production of clothing. Want to get a designer outfit? Scroll through the items that YSL offers.
  • Perfume is another specialty of Chanel. The fashion house invests tons of money into promoting its signature fragrance Chanel N°5. At the same time, YSL can’t boast to do the same (yet, we do remember its Opium perfume having scandalous advertising in the past).
  • When it comes to bags, YSL has a bigger choice of models, while Chanel is primarily focusing on its classic models. However, we have to state, the diversity of colors and materials of Chanel purses is enormous as well.
  • Both companies offer a wide range of items. Upon desire, it’s easy to get a scarf, shoes, a dress, a wallet, or plenty of other things with the logo of the brand you prefer.



YSL vs Chanel: Prices

Which Brand is Better: YSL vs Chanel prices

Style and heritage are important, but not everyone can afford to spend 4-5 thousand dollars on a designer accessory. The price tag still plays a crucial role for plenty of people. It may not be true for the true fans of the brand, but since you are reading the article on which brand is better – YSL vs Chanel – you surely don’t belong to this category.

We have found similar items and compared their cost.

Item name

Chanel official price, USD*

YSL official price, USD*

Signature flap bag made of leather (medium size)

From 4,900


Mini flap bag made of tweed



Leather satchel




From 425

From 345

Small bucket bag (non-leather option)

4,600 (velvet)

1,350 (linen)

Shopping bag

From 3,000 (fiber)

1,250 (linen)

Folding wallet


From 425

Long wallet


From 725

Leather belt

From 750

From 375


From 900

From 475


From 390

From 340

*prices are collected from the official websites of the brands in August 2021. Current numbers may vary

Quite a visible difference, right? Well, Chanel doesn’t spare its clientele when it comes to prices. If you haven’t heard the big news, the brand made a decision to increase the cost of its goods a couple of months ago. Yes, again! Compare the old and new price tags in our article – Chanel Increases Prices Worldwide for the Second Time in July 2021.

Needless to say that such a blow was not positively accepted by fashion lovers. Some of them announced “quitting” the Chanel club immediately after the news was dropped. Many accusations of poor leather quality followed, claiming that the French brand apparently crafts the purses in China. Can you believe that?

We made our own research and are ready to tell you everything about Where Are Chanel Handbags Made?

Meanwhile, let’s draw a little line about the pricing of these two companies.


  • Chanel handbags are twice as expensive as the same YSL models. Lots of YSL fans joke that you can actually get two designer bags instead of one for the same price. Can’t imagine yourself carrying a 4-thousand bucks purse? Go for YSL!
  • YSL is believed to be an affordable luxury with quite democratic prices. That is why plenty of people choose this company as their first luxury brand. Already got an YSL purse in your collection and searching for something new? Save up for Chanel!
  • Chanel bags have better resale value. This factor plays an important role in the decision of which brand is better – YSL vs Chanel – for the majority of fashion lovers. If you decide to trade up your purse in 10 years, you will have way more luck with Chanel than YSL. A perfect investment? A Chanel handbag!
  • With Chanel prices constantly rising, which create the aura of exclusivity around the fashion house, people are most likely to prefer second-hand options. In some cases, a new YSL bag may be even cheaper than a vintage pre-loved Chanel.
  • For small accessories, like scarves and sunglasses, the cost is approximately the same. Here, you might want to get more info about the style and see how the goods look with your outfits.


YSL vs Chanel: Style

Which Brand is Better: YSL vs Chanel style

Now, let’s discuss the core of every luxury label – the style. If we intentionally remove all logos and signs from the photos and videos, most people will still recognize the signature style of Chanel or YSL. That means that they are quite different. 

Let’s find out more about it!



Style: classic, practical, timeless, making the elegance and chic not only beautiful but comfortable for women.

Audience of the brand: people who dress with elegance but are not willing to attract attention by extravagant patterns and silhouettes. Chanel is respected among both adult and young clientele.


Promotion: simplicity and focus on the product and the models are two key factors of each Chanel ad campaign. There is never fascinating background making you want to watch every detail of it, you can hardly tell where the photos were taken.


For example, Chanel 2010 Spring/Summer campaign featuring Claudia Schiffer is made in soft and pastel shades – beige, sandy, gray, and black. Nothing that can distract from the beauty of the clothing in the photos.


The brand devotes attention to the advertising of most of its signature products – just like iconic perfume Chanel N°5 in this short but mesmerizing video where Marion Cotillard is dancing in a shiny golden dress on a moon.


Even the promotion of the legendary handbags looks quite simple at first sight: check this Chanel 2018 Spring/Summer campaign where Kaia Gerber is graciously lying on the sofa. Or Blake Lively posing somewhere in the stairs to promote the Mademoiselle bag created by Karl Lagerfeld.


Despite the absence of something complex in these photos, we are still quite drawn to the sophisticated way the accessories are advertised.


Ambassadors: from Marilyn Monroe to Lily-Rose Depp, the celebrities who represent the brand in the annual ad campaigns are known across the globe. The recent ambassadors of the house are top-rated actresses, singers, and even the members of royal families: Jennie Kim, Willow Smith, Kristen Stuart, Charlotte Casiraghi, Keira Knightley, Kaia Gerber.

Style: daring, extravagant, modern, always following the latest trends, expressive, shameless.

Audience of the brand: people who want to make the statement and stand out from the crowd, fans of independence and daring outfits. YSL is definitely not for conservative minds and modest fashionistas.


Promotion: since the foundation of the brand in the 1960s, the name of YSL is associated with bravery, boldness, sexuality, and extravagance. These trends are reflected in the provocative advertising campaigns that no other brand dares to copy or repeat.


The most recent Salt and Sun ad campaign depicting models in half-transparent bodysuits and showing the close shots of piquant body parts gave the audience something to talk about – half of the fashion world admires the courage of the brand, the other half is shaming it.


It’s not the first time when the brand seems to cross the line. A few years ago, there was a huge scandal in France, related to YSL 2017 Spring/Summer campaign. The French organization that supervises advertisements asked the representatives of the label to change the photo.


Are you too young to remember the provocative picnic of Kate Moss wearing Le Smocking with two naked men in 1999? If so, it was not some kind of paparazzi material for yellow pages, but another promotion that smells like scandal. What is going to be next? We are genuinely impatient to see.


Muses: when talking about YSL, we don’t mention ambassadors hired to promote the brand but the muses that serve as an inspiration for the designers – starting with monsieur Saint Laurent himself. In different times, the muses were Victoire Doutreleau, Catherine Deneuve, Betty Catroux, Sylvie Vartan, Palome Picasso, Sky Ferreira, Courtney Love, Cara Delevigne.



  •   Defining your style means associating yourself with one of the brands. Chanel is about elegance and chic, YSL is a synonym of sexual revolution and piquancy.
  •   You can often see Chanel on first ladies and members of royal families. Lady Diana Spencer and Jackie Kennedy both wore the legendary Chanel Suits. Do you feel like highlighting your status and class with a designer accessory? Choose Chanel!
  •   YSL is a scandalous brand. Every ad campaign has the potential to be banned or censored due to nudity or provocative angles. Photos and outfits (or absence of the latest) excite the audience in both good and bad ways. This approach gave the fashion house a certain reputation. Do you adore self-expression and daring looks? Go for YSL!
  •   Classical Chanel is a universal brand for various groups of people: it’s suitable for office workers, young students, moms, businessmen and businesswomen. The values of YSL still sometimes face resentment and misunderstanding from the fashion world (even in the 21st century).
  • Celebrities that represent YSL have quite a controversial reputation – Courtney Love, Kristen Stewart. If you don’t approve of such rebellious behavior, it’s safer to choose Chanel.



 YSL vs Chanel: Social Media

Which Brand is Better: YSL vs Chanel social media

Social media plays an essential role in the development of any brand – big or small. An active account with regular updates is a modern must-have for every company. It became especially important during the pandemic, when online sales increased.

You can read How Covid-19 Affected The Luxury Market in our article. No wonder, that the luxury brands hire professionals for managing Instagram and Twitter! Advertising, broadcasting live shows, notifying about new collections – the power of social media is endless!

Let’s learn about the popularity of these French brands through the prism of their social media presence.*



Instagram: 46 m

Instagram: 9.1 m

Twitter: 13.2 m

Twitter: 4 m

* data was gathered in August 2021. Current numbers may vary


  • Chanel seems to have won the battle of social media audiences because it has a way bigger number of followers on both platforms.
  • Both brands make regular updates, posting photos of new collections.
  • The love of YSL for showing the freedom of body and spirit attracts more attention – both negative and positive. Check their Instagram posts, sometimes you can find quite heated discussions in the commentaries. 
  • We all know what to expect from Chanel, but YSL is always ready to surprise. So, they get a lot of media attention (because people keep visiting the profile and increasing the statistics on social media).



YSL vs Chanel: Celebrities

Which Brand is Better: YSL vs Chanel celebrities

Top-rated actors, singers, and celebrities also show their devotion to the luxury brands when they appear with a designer accessory in public. Let’s see their preferences!




Johnny Weir

Lily Allen

Rita Ora

Brooke Shields

Eva Longoria

Cameron Diaz

Jessica Chastain

Kate Moss

Lea Michele

Brad Pitt

Kim Jaejoong


 Are you a fan of spying on what celebrities choose to wear? Check 8 Hottest Handbags for Summer 2021 that Celebrities Like. One of our contestants is also there!



YSL vs Chanel: Where To Buy

Which Brand is Better: YSL vs Chanel where to buy

Now, we hope you have made up your mind and know exactly which brand is better – YSL vs Chanel. The time has come to spend some money on a luxury purse! Let’s find out where you can get them.



Closest boutique in your city

Multi-brand retail stores (only ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories)

Online on the official website

Pre-loved in consignment stores

In one of the official stores (44 in the USA)

Online on the official website

In large department chains in your city (Saks OFF 5th, Neiman Marcus, etc)


Pre-loved in consignment stores



  • The goods of each brand are available both brand-new and pre-loved. It means you can save lots of money if shopping pre-owned.
  • Chanel never makes discounts for its luxury purses. The brand’s aim is to be exclusive and sought-after. The words “Chanel” and “Xmas sales” are never used in one sentence.
  • YSL has outlets where you can find old collections at a reduced cost. It makes the brand more affordable for a bigger number of people.
  • Chanel’s most coveted goods – the handbags – can be found only in boutiques, while the purses by YSL are available in department stores and outlets.

When buying a second-hand bag, be very careful – the resale market is full of frauds and counterfeit goods. We, at Bagaholic, already done dozens of fake vs real comparisons, so you might know how to roughly authenticate a luxury purse. The most puzzling part is reading a serial number, so be sure to check out:

A Complete Guide To Chanel Serial Numbers: The Most Important Authentication Part

How To Read a YSL Serial Number

Having doubts in your skills? Well, nothing to worry about. Professional authentication is always available! Peace of mind at a price of a cup of coffee? Yes, it is possible!

If you need to authenticate a Louis Vuitton/Dior/Gucci item, please order one of the three types of authentication:

Verbal Authentication $10

  • good when you need a certificate for any reason,

Certificate of Authenticity $25

  • good when you need a certificate for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or to return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake
  • includes a permanent certificate on

Certificate of Authenticity with a thorough explanation $50

  • good when you need a certificate and you need to know why the bag is authentic/not authentic for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake.
  • includes a permanent certificate on
  • includes an explanation of why the item is fake (detailed pictures and comparisons with an authentic bag, more than 10 pics included)



So similar when it comes to bag models, yet so different in their core values and ideas, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent continue their everlasting battle for the trophy: which brand is better. YSL vs Chanel threads will keep flooding purse forums, as there are as many opinions as there are people. And what is your choice? What side are you on? Share in the comments!

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