Why Is Chanel So Expensive? The 5 Reasons You Need To Know

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If you have been browsing Chanel boutiques or on the website, you may be wondering why is Chanel so expensive? We’re here to give you all the details on these high price tags!

Metallic Chanel bags
©Alberto Mihai | Depositphotos.com

Chanel is one of the top luxury fashion houses in the world, founded in 1910 by Coco Chanel, and has become known for exquisite ready-to-wear and haute couture collections, as well as luxurious leather goods over the decades. Chanel handbags, in particular, are incredibly popular and you may have been considering adding one of these leather bags to your wardrobe, but have been wondering why they have such as high price tag.

That’s where we come in! We are answering the question, of why is Chanel so expensive, to help you understand exactly what you are paying for when you pick up a Chanel item.

We have also included some of the best-selling Chanel pieces that are really worth the price tag and are available on resale sites to help you save a little money.

Why is Chanel so expensive?

There are lots of different reasons why Chanel is so expensive, and different aspects that will have an effect on the final price of a luxury item – so we are going to break it down so you can see what you’re paying for.

1. Materials

Firstly, the materials used in Chanel clothing and accessories are incredibly luxurious and therefore can be quite expensive. This is shown clearly in the high-quality materials used in the iconic Chanel handbags, which are commonly made from calfskin leather and lambskin leather.

The leather is expertly sourced and finished in top-quality tanneries to ensure the best finish to all their materials – for example, the lambskin leather is sourced from France and finished in their tannery in Bodin-Joyeux, France.

The calfskin leather is supple and lends itself perfectly to handbags, plus it’s available in different finishes, including caviar, aged, glazed, and metallic calfskin, each with its own look and durability. There are also goatskin and exotic skins available and each comes with its own, expensive price tag which is just one reason why Chanel bags are so expensive.

When it comes to the clothes, the materials are also of the highest quality for a luxurious look and feel that is synonymous with Chanel. You will find many Chanel clothes are crafted from natural materials, including cotton, wool, linen, cashmere, and silk.

This means Chanel clothes are top quality, breathable, and will really stand the test of time, however, some of these materials, like cashmere and silk, are pretty expensive, which is why Chanel clothes can have a high retail price.

2. Craftsmanship

To make sure all Chanel products are finished to the highest standard, Chanel craftsmanship is exquisite, which is just another reason why this luxury brand is so expensive. Chanel produces their bags and leather goods across several different regions of Europe, each known for their leatherwork. You will find Chanel handbags made in France, Tuscany, Italy, and Ubrique, Spain.

Each of these manufacturing locations is filled with highly trained artisans who have been trained to work with luxurious leather and produce the famous and beloved Chanel handbags.

The high level of craftsmanship, to make sure each Chanel bag and leather purse look perfect and will stand the test of time, can cost a lot of money and is just one of the reasons why Chanel is so expensive.

The ready-to-wear clothing is equally as luxe, with all of it made in France, most crafted in Paris, or at the brand’s 11 savoir-faire maisons close to Paris. All of the haute couture pieces from Chanel are designed and crafted in Paris, by the brand’s highly-experienced and well-trained artisans at their atelier.

You will also see that many of the Chanel clothes feature embellishments, embroidery, and hand-finished details, which can cost more money because of the time and attention that has to go into the hand-sewn elements. This high level of detail and top craftsmanship in both ready-to-wear and haute couture collections are a key part of why Chanel is so expensive.

3. Brand History

Chanel is a world-renowned brand with a long and rich history, which has an effect on the price of Chanel luxury goods. People will pay a lot of money for a brand with such an illustrious history and to have a piece of Chanel in their wardrobe.

Chanel was founded by couturière Gabrielle Chanel in 1910, who created stunning womenswear collections, and gorgeous accessories. Gabrielle, now more commonly known as Coco Chanel, and her designs were a pivotal moment in women’s fashion, as she wanted to create clothes women were able to move in. She also included blouses and trousers in her collections, which were new additions to women’s fashion, and crafted her designs from soft, flowing fabrics.

In the 1920s, Chanel created two of her most famous designs, the Chanel suit, which was composed of two or three pieces and meant women could look feminine and comfortable, and the little black dress, which all women to look elegant and chic.

Although the house of Chanel partly closed during the Second World War, Chanel came back in the 1950s with irresistible fashion collections and added leather handbags to the brand. These bags, with their gold chain link straps, that allowed women to carry the bag in their hand or wear over the shoulder, were an instant hit.

In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld became the chief designer for the popular luxury brand. He kept classic elements that Coco herself often included in her designs, made the Chanel CC logo a status symbol, and continued to dress fashion icons, actresses, and musicians.

In 2019, Virginie Viard became the new creative director. She had previously worked for the fashion house for 30 years and so knew how to combine the ladylike Chanel designs, with more contemporary silhouettes to keep the brand popular and successful.

4. Exclusivity and Brand Reputation

The expensive prices for Chanel goods mean that fewer people are buying the items which gives the brand an exclusive reputation that is only available to wealthy customers. Many luxury brands in the fashion industry, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Celine, want to have an element of exclusivity since lots and lots of people carrying a Chanel bag would make the brand a little less luxurious.

To achieve this exclusivity, Chanel puts high price tags on their leather goods, handbags, and ready-to-wear clothes so fewer people have the money to buy these items. This level of exclusivity remains since there are Chanel price increases each year to keep the brand at this high-end status.

This exclusivity gives Chanel a strong brand reputation, known for luxurious and super stylish goods, which makes the brand even more in demand. The instantly recognizable CC logo, Chanel brand name, and diamond-quilted leather make it easy to identify Chanel products and help to establish them as status symbols, imbuing the wearers with a fashionable and wealthy status.

To keep up this exclusivity, and brand reputation and make sure their pieces continue to be status symbols, Chanel makes sure all their pieces are expensive.

5. Celebrities

The celebrities that are seen in Chanel only help to keep the brand in demand and mean the prices remain high, as Chanel knows there are plenty of people who are willing to pay a lot of money to look like their style icon! Celebrities that have been seen in Chanel clothing or carrying a Chanel classic bag include Blake Lively, Claudia Schiffer, Kristen Stewart, Cara Delevingne, Keira Knightly, and Margot Robbie, among many others.

These celebrities that are spotted in Chanel imbue the brand with a level of exclusivity, which means the price tags have to be high, and make the brand even more in demand, meaning many people are willing to pay this high price.

Best-selling Chanel items

Here are some of our favorite Chanel luxury goods that we think are excellent investment pieces and really worth the expensive price tag. It is always worth checking out the resale market if you are looking for a Chanel item, since there are always lots of top-quality pieces available, often at a more affordable price!

1. Shoulder Bags
Pale purple Chanel 2021 Small Classic Double Flap Bag
Browse Chanel Classic Flap Bags on The RealReal
Black Chanel Medium Boy Bag
Browse Chanel Boy Bags on The RealReal

The Chanel Double Flap Bag has reached iconic status and we can really see why! This beautiful leather bag is a classic and timeless piece that any luxury fashion fan needs in their wardrobe.

The diamond quilted leather is punctuated by a sparkling silver CC logo for a quintessentially Chanel look. There is an exterior pocket and six interior pockets inside the bag, perfect for your everyday essentials.

We love the structured look and detailed finish on the Chanel Boy Bag. This lambskin leather Boy Bag has a glossy finish, which really accentuates the diamond and channel quilting, finished with a gold CC push lock.

The chunky chain strap features a leather shoulder pad for comfort which means the bag can be on the shoulder or across the body.

2. Tote Bags
Beige and black Chanel 2021 Small Deauville Shopping Bag
Browse Chanel Deauville Totes on The RealReal
Black Chanel Caviar Grand Shopping Tote
Browse Chanel Grand Shopping Totes on The RealReal

The Chanel Deauville Tote is a famous Chanel bag, made in several variations, so there is an option to suit any personal style.

This beige raffia bag is decorated with the Chanel Paris brand name and CC logo in a gold chain threaded with black leather – a detail synonymous with the Chanel brand. The interior is super spacious, ideal for your weekend essentials, and fitted with a handy wall pocket.

If you are looking for something a little smarter and more sophisticated, then go for the Chanel Grand Shopping Tote, pictured above in black caviar leather with silver hardware.

This tote has a more minimalist look, with a CC logo quilted into the leather, and then finished with leather-threaded chain straps. The bag is super practical with an exterior pocket and three interior pockets.

3. Shoes
Navy Chanel Lambskin CC Espadrilles
Browse Chanel Espadrilles on Fashionphile
Beige and black Chanel Goatskin Grosgrain Cap Toe CC Slingback Pumps
Browse Chanel Slingbacks on Fashionphile

Chanel espadrilles are a summer wardrobe must-have to add a luxury element to any outfit. Like the Deauville tote, there are lots of different espadrilles available, making it easy to find a pair that suits you.

These navy lambskin leather espadrilles are an elegant option, finished with the woven sole, and can be styled with any sunny day outfit.

The Chanel Cap Toe CC Slingback Pumps are some of the most famous shoes within the Chanel collection, with a classically Chanel aesthetic, including a beige and black color combination and toe cap detail.

These slingbacks are crafted from durable goatskin leather, with a grosgrain toe cap, and finished with a stretch slingback and CC logo on the block heel.

We hope you found this article answering the question, why is Chanel so expensive, helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the links below.

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