Chanel is a luxury brand but where are Chanel bags made? And How?! It’s helpful to know all the information before spending thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money on luxury items, such as Chanel.
You worked hard and saved your money; and now, the time has finally come. You walk into Chanel, and in an instant, you fall in love with the simple – yet grand and elegant – black, white, and gold aesthetic of the store. Glass shelves and cases are adorned with bags, shoes, sunglasses, and sparkling costume jewelry. A Sales Associate (SA) offers you a seat on a pink tweed chair so that you may comfortably look at a variety of bags and small leather goods.
You’ve narrowed down your choices to three items: first, a medium/large black, quilted Classic Flap in caviar leather with gold hardware; second, an iridescent, light pink, caviar, quilted Mini Coco Handle with aged gold hardware; and third, an iridescent, purple, quilted wallet made out of goatskin. If you need some inspiration on which Chanel bag to purchase, watch our video below:
While carefully inspecting these decadent bags before deciding which one you’d like to purchase, you notice that each one has been produced in a different location: France. Italy. Spain. Huh? You thought that Chanel bags were made in Paris. What’s going on? As a consumer, these are great questions.
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Where Are Chanel Bags Actually Made?
Remaining true to the brand’s heritage, Chanel bags – and other goods – are manufactured in Europe. Typically, Chanel bags and shoes are produced in France and Italy. Small leather goods, such as wallets, card holders, and pouches are created in Italy, as are silk scarves and sunglasses (in partnership with the Luxottica Group).
In addition to Italy, small leather goods are also manufactured in Spain, as are espadrilles. With respect to clothing, Chanel produces their knitwear in France, Italy, and Scotland. And, according to an article about the supply chains of luxury brands, Chanel partners with an atelier in Mumbai (Les Ateliers 2M) for items with embroidery – this atelier also partners with Isabel Marant and Hermès.
Some examples: a Classic Flap will only be made in France or Italy, while a wallet or coin purse will only be made in Italy or Spain. The wallet on chain (WOC) – which is a hotly debated item with respect to it being a small leather good or a full-on bag – is usually made in France or Italy; however, bag aficionados on the PurseForum have noted owning older styles of WOCs that were made in Spain.
Are Chanel Bags Made in China?
No, Chanel products are not made in China. According to Chanel, their items are only created in France, Italy, and Spain, as well as Scotland for their knitwear and Mumbai for embroidery. While there has been speculation online and via YouTube that Chanel secretly produces items in China, this notion has not been proven and remains a rumour. It is important to remember, though, that certain materials may be sourced from other countries and regions; but the overall product is assembled in France, Italy, or Spain.
Other fashion houses and luxury designers such as Dior, Gucci, Fendi, Mulberry, and Saint Laurent have also been tied to Mumbai for embroidery work; while brands such as Coach, Givenchy, Burberry, Phillip Lim, and Prada are now known to manufacture a portion of their products in China.
Chanel, however, has never been linked with creating, designing, or assembling any of its (luxury) items in China. The exception is for makeup and cosmetic pouches that are usually received as a gift with purchase when buying fragrances and cosmetic items (i.e., Chanel Beauté such as nail polish, makeup brushes, and lipsticks).
Are Chanel Bags Made in France?
Although Paris remains at the heart of Chanel, no Chanel item will say ‘Made in Paris’.
Sometimes, the hardware on a bag will say ‘Chanel Paris’, such as on the Classic Flap. When you open a Flap bag and look behind the double CC logo, the plate will read ‘Chanel’ on the top of the metal hardware, while the bottom part of the plate will read ‘Paris’.
If you come across a product from Chanel that says ‘Made in Paris’, then your item is likely counterfeit. Authentic Chanel items will only read ‘Made in France’.
Are Chanel Bags Made in Italy?
Yes, Chanel bags are made in Italy. In addition to bags, small leather goods, such as wallets, card holders, and pouches are created in Italy, as are shoes, silk scarves, and sunglasses (in partnership with the Luxottica Group).
Are Chanel Bags Made in Spain?
No, Chanel bags are not made in Spain. However, small leather goods are manufactured in Spain, as are espadrilles.
Where Does Chanel Make Their Clothing?
With respect to clothing, Chanel produces their knitwear in France, Italy, and Scotland.
Where Are Chanel Bags Actually Made: Additional Locations
With respect to the actual locations of production, Chanel does not disclose this information – likely as a way to keep the brand’s intellectual property protected. However, a handful of journalists and bloggers have been granted access to one of the brand’s ateliers. Specifically, Chanel has granted journalists and bloggers access to Les Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte, which is located in Hauts-de-France (the northernmost region of France), and is about an hour north of Paris. Since 1990, Les Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte has been the hub of Chanel’s creations, such that all of the brand’s designs are sent here to be brought to life.
It should also be noted that Chanel acquires calfskin from the Tanneries Haas, which is located in Mittelbergheim, France; and Chanel also works with tanners from Bodin-Joyeux (a 162-year-old company located in Paris, which the brand acquired in 2013) to obtain lambskin.
Which is Best? Chanel Bags Made in France, Italy, or Spain?
Due to the brand’s Parisian history, many people prefer to purchase Chanel bags and items made in France. In reality, it does not matter where your Chanel item is made. The company has exceptionally high standards, such that each product undergoes extensive quality control at every step of its production
For example, Chanel artisans carefully inspect all of the materials and leather for scuffs and irregularities and do so by using special lights that mimic daylight.(10,11,13,14) Further, every piece of material is delicately aligned with any mechanical components before any cutting begins.(10,13,15,16) And, before Chanel items are deemed worthy to be sent to boutiques to be sold to customers, bags are placed in a special room to test their durability against humidity and salt content in the air.(11)
Where Are Chanel Bags and Items Made? Summary
|Where Are Chanel Bags Made?||Yes/No?||Items Made in This Location|
|Are Chanel bags made in France?||Yes||Bags Shoes Knitwear Cosmetics|
|Are Chanel bags made in Italy?||Yes||Bags Shoes Sunglasses Knitwear Silk scarves Small leather goods|
|Are Chanel bags made in Spain?||Yes/No||Bags are not made in Spain Small leather goods are made in Spain Espadrilles are made in Spain|
|Are Chanel bags made in China?||No*||Chanel products are not made in China The slight exception is with respect to cosmetic pouches, but only those that are received as a gift with purchase|
|Does it Matter Where My Bag/Item is Made?||No||Why It Doesn’t Matter All Chanel products undergo extensive quality control by highly-skilled artisans|
How Are Chanel Bags Made?
Once a sketch of a bag is sent to Les Ateliers, it is ready to be turned into a real-life piece of art, which is done with care and precision by expertly trained artisans. Les Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte employs around 500 people – all of whom go through extensive training that lasts between four and five years. Once the training is complete, these Chanel artisans are deemed masters of their craft and now have the ability to sew, cut, make patterns, work with leather, and use specialized machines needed for certain elements of a bag.
Are Chanel Bags Handmade?
Given that Chanel bags are so delicate and luxurious, consumers are often interested in knowing whether or not Chanel bags are handmade. Based on a video released by Les Ateliers, it is now known that Chanel bags are created by a combination of methods.(13) This means that a Chanel bag is indeed handmade, but also contains elements that have been created and/or assembled by a machine.
The Process of Making a Chanel Bag
The first step in putting together a Chanel bag, specifically a Classic Flap (or the 11.12 bag), is to choose the material. An artisan will carefully select the skin or fabric needed for the bag and then thoroughly inspect it, ensuring that there are no flaws. Once the material for the bag has been approved, it is ready to be cut into the proper proportions for the bag. With supervision from an artisan, the material is placed on a special leather-cutting machine that assesses the leather using a digitized template of the bag.
This machine is not only used for cutting large pieces of leather, but the digital template enables the material to be used in a way that prevents wasting as much leather as possible. After the machine carefully inspects the material and configures itself, the fabric is cut into the appropriate dimensions. Depending on the bag being made and the materials being used (i.e., specialized materials, such as exotic skins and certain fabrics), the cutting may be done at the hands of an artisan.
Next, the cut pieces of leather are placed into a special template and locked into place. A machine then begins to cover the bag with the brand’s famous diamond quilted pattern. The ‘Mona Lisa’ pocket on the back of the bag is placed on by hand and stitched using a machine that is hand-guided by a Chanel artisan.
The cut pieces of leather are placed together with special cardstock, which provides the bag with proper structure. According to Chanel, “the body and base are brought together with the ‘bag in bag’ technique: A first bag is mounted to constitute the interior and then a second for the exterior, each one assembled by hand.” Once this step has been completed, the bag is turned inside out (to hide the stitching).
One of the bag’s most famous features is also completed by hand: The 11.12’s gorgeous – yet utilitarian – chain is delicately braided with a ribbon of leather.
Lastly, the final touches and placement of hardware, such as grommets and metal logos, are finished by the precise hands of an artisan – a process that includes the use of hammers and screwdrivers!
After a bag is complete, it goes under intense scrutiny to ensure its perfection. It is then wrapped in Chanel’s classic black and white packaging…so that it can be sent to boutiques for purchase.
How Long Does it Take to Make a Chanel Bag?
A lot of love, passion, precision, and dedication goes into making each Chanel item. As a result, it takes up to 15 people around 18 hours to create a Classic Flap or a Reissue (the original Chanel bag, also referred to as the 2.55) out of calfskin – and this process includes over 180 different steps! Should the bag being made involve exotic skins and materials, then the process can take six times longer, as the materials will need to be cut by hand.
Where to Buy Chanel Bags
Authentic Chanel products may only be purchased through a stand-alone, authorized Chanel boutique, or an authorized Chanel boutique that is inside of a department store (i.e., Harrod’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew).
Chanel does not sell their items online. You may, however, purchase Chanel Beauté (cosmetics) and sunglasses online, via authorized sellers. If you want to see the latest prices of Chanel bags, see the latest Chanel price increase details here with before and after prices.
You may visit Chanel’s official website to find a boutique near you.
If you are unable to visit an authorized boutique or would prefer to purchase pre-loved and vintage Chanel items, you may do so via several online retailers:
Disclaimer: *Always be sure to have your pre-loved items authenticated by a third party to guarantee the authenticity of your piece. Read more here*