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Here's Why Chanel Classic Flap is Renamed to 11.12

In the world of luxury fashion, few items are as iconic and timelessly elegant as Chanel's Classic Flap bag. It's even more than that: the Chanel Classic Flap is evidently the most popular  and the most expensive luxury bag created by the French brand, the one everyone has seen at least once on their Instagram feed, regardless which A-listers you follow.

Here's an interesting fact. This masterpiece of design, originally brought to life by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in February 1955 (hence its initial name, the 2.55), has undergone various transformations while maintaining its core aesthetic and sophisticated charm. It wasn't until Karl Lagerfeld's tenure in the early '80s that the bag received its most recognizable modifications, including the introduction of the CC lock and the leather-woven chain strap. The medium version of the bag, which had come to be known colloquially as the "Classic Flap," has been officially renamed by Chanel as the 11.12 in Spring 2021.

What are the reasons the top Chanel bag was renamed? Let's take a deep dive into the Chanel history.

Chanel Classic Flap New Name: Historical Context

To understand the significance of this rename, it's essential to delve into the bag's storied history. Coco Chanel designed the original 2.55 with functionality and modern femininity in mind, incorporating features such as the burgundy interior (inspired by her childhood uniforms) and the secret pocket. When Karl Lagerfeld stepped in as the House's creative director, he built upon Coco's foundation while infusing his own creative innovations, thus resulting in the bag known today.

What is 11.12 in Chanel language?

The renaming of the Classic Flap bag to the 11.12 is more than a mere change of nomenclature; it is a tribute to the bag's evolution and its role in the fashion industry. The name "11.12" directly references the bag's style code, A01112, effectively bridging past heritage with contemporary design philosophy. This decision also reflects Chanel's acknowledgment of the Classic Flap’s enduring legacy, both as a symbol of luxury and a testament to the brand’s craftsmanship and innovative spirit.

Reasons Behind the Renaming

Several factors contributed to the decision to rename the Classic Flap to the 11.12. Let's discuss each of them in detail.

By aligning the bag's name with its style code, Chanel ensures that the bag's history and evolution are preserved and honored. This move allows for the story of the bag, from its creation to its various iterations, to be more cohesively told, ensuring its legacy endures.

Moreover, Chanel's rebranding effort through the renaming underscores its desire to move toward the pinnacle of luxury fashion. In the US, the Maxi Classic Flap currently retails for a whooping $12,300, priced right in the same ballpark as a 30cm Hermès Togo Birkin. Considering its price of $3,700 in 2010, this means an over 330% price increase in 13 years.

Lastly, over the years, Chanel's range of flap bags has expanded to include various sizes, materials, and designs. The unification of these designs under the 11.12 nomenclature helps streamline the collection, making it easier for consumers to recognize and appreciate the iconic design's lineage.

Our Thoughts on the Renaming

Reactions to the renaming have largely been positive, with many fashion historians, critics, and enthusiasts appreciating the thoughtful nod to the bag's origins and evolution. It's seen as a fitting homage to both Coco Chanel's revolutionary design and Karl Lagerfeld's influential contributions, ensuring that the legacy of the Classic Flap bag continues to captivate and charm generations to come.

However, in our opinion, changing a long-standing name (even a descriptive one) is a debatable idea. Imagine that Hermes would want to rename Hermes Kelly or Hermes Birkin. Aside from marketing investment that goes far beyond renaming a product on their website, this renaming also suggests educating the audience.

One question still pertains: why change the name of the top-selling product? To tell you the truth, Chanel is poor with naming. Most of their handbags names are way too descriptive (top handle bag, double handle bag, etc). Other handbags have just figure-based naming, such as Chanel 19 or Chanel 22. Not only such naming makes it difficult to find in search engines, it also somehow doesn't contribute to their uniqueness.

Lastly, it's quite strange that only the Classic Medium Flap was renamed at all. The Classic Flap product line contains at least 5 handbags, so why not rename all of them for simplicity? To Chanel, it didn't seem like a great idea though.



The renaming of Chanel's Classic Flap to the 11.12 not only honors the bag's rich heritage and the visionary designers behind its success but also reflects Chanel's ongoing dedication to luxury. Through the 11.12, Chanel invites us to appreciate the legacy of the brand that is over 100 years old, as well as of one of fashion's most celebrated designs.


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