My Holy Grail Bag: The Chanel Classic Flap

What is a Holy Grail Bag? First the urban definition. Holy Grail means an item you want so much but it is very difficult to get. And the term ‘difficulty, can be mean anything. It can be unavailable. It can be priced well above your means. Or it can be you. You can be the person that is making your Holy Grail difficult to get.

My Holy Grail Bag happens to be the Chanel Classic Double Flap in Quilted Caviar Leather with Silver Hardware in Jumbo size and here are the reasons why: 1. I admire the woman behind the brand – Mademoiselle Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. Unbeknownst to many, it was Coco Chanel who designed the first ‘over the shoulder’ handbag. It was in 1929 when she first debuted this by designing a bag that she can carry over her shoulders because she was tired of the trend when bags were only being carried using a handle. In February 1955 Coco officially launched this design and aptly called it the 2.55 Flap Bag (2 for February, 55 for 1955). Because Coco created a handbag to make it ‘easy’ for women to carry, I feel that my Holy Grail Bag carries with it a special piece of women empowerment history. That a bright and forward-thinking woman such as Coco Chanel would think of fashion not just a frivolous thing but a means for women to look stylish yet ‘conveniently’ enjoy. 2. I associate the Chanel Classic Flap to being a symbol of Achievement, Stature, and Confidence

Many years ago in the early days of my career I was fortunate to hear a dignified female speaker. She was eloquent, charismatic, yet exude confidence and grace. After the event I saw her networking and she carried a Chanel Classic Flap. I did not know what it was called then. But I remember what it looked like and that it was unmistakably a Chanel, a brand I desired but never allow myself to covet. Since then I associated this handbag to similar sentiments as if it were a trophy. And I say why can’t we define our own trophy?

3. The Chanel Classic Flap is timeless in design and synonymous to chic and elegance.

Whatever the outfit, a Chanel Classic Flap complements it. And it is not only me. I find a lot of fashionistas sport this with casual to formal clothing ensembles. Each time equates to chic. Not to mention this handbag is the epitome of a classic design. The original was in 1955. Then Karl Lagerfeld re-designed in in the 1980s with the iconic double CC logo clasp. I can carry and enjoy this bag today and, for as long as I take care of it, I can pass it on to my future generation and the style will still remain as chic and classy as ever. 4. My Holy Grail Bag is luxurious, sought after, and continually increasing in price. I will only make this purchase if I do it on my own.

Make no mistake this was a first condition – I must buy this bag on my own. Why? Because it is expensive. I am not in the habit of splurging on high-end things. It just isn’t so. So if I make this purchase it must completely come from my own sweat. To be able to say, “I can,” to that condition is, in itself, a feeling of accomplishment. I am in no means bragging. But there is a sense of pride that my diligence to save since my teen years paid off. I can say, “I can buy this bag. I have savings from my modeling years to cover the cost and I do not have to put a dent in my family’s finances.” And saving my earnings while being in the fashion industry is not an easy thing. Beautiful items and stylish fashion maven peers tempt you. To be strong in my resolve as a saver was quite difficult actually. The reward is being able to autonomously decide on this luxury purchase. Often society criticizes those with luxury items as bragging. But one should not judge. There are many who are responsible and hard working. With careful planning and saving, they buy their holy grail items. And guess what? They should be applauded for that because they did it on their own.

5, My Holy Grail Bag is the perfect Heirloom piece to leave behind.

There are three items I love in fashion – handbags, jewelry, and scarves. I could not think of another handbag other than the Chanel Classic Flap to pass down to my only daughter. Hopefully I will have many more years, with photographs as proof, showcasing how much I enjoy and love this bag. I want to make memories with it. Write a love letter to my kid and stash it in the same ‘secret’ zippered compartment Coco Chanel created in this purse.

My wish is that my daughter will see a perfect memento of her mother. I am a handbag lover. And this is my fashion trophy. I wear it with pride because I truly earned all the symbols I have attached to this purse. How about you? What is your Holy Grail Bag? And Why?


How to buy your Holy Grail Bag in one year or less

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take the total cost of your Holy Grail Bag or Luxury Item and divide the amount to 365 days of the year. That amount is how much you need to save per day in order to meet your spending goal. For example, if your goal is $5000 / 365 days = $13.69 or $14 per day.

  2. Use a Rebate Shopping site such as: Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates). Since joining four years ago, I have earned close to $2000! This site is free. It allows you to earn a percentage of what you buy.

  3. Cut down on some of your existing expense and put the savings into your Holy Grail Bag account. For example: cut down on Starbucks coffee per day ($5 x 5 days per week x 52 weeks) = $1300 in cost savings. Or pack your own lunches every other week ($15 x 3 days per week x 52) = $2,340 in cost savings.

  4. Try different side hustles. In my case, I have produced fashion shows and parades, sold real estate, operated an online travel agency, performed freelance digital media services, tried social selling (i.e. Stella and Dot).

Coco Chanel: Once Upon A Time

"The story of a young orphan who reinvented herself and became Coco Chanel. In Chapter 5 of Inside CHANEL, discover Coco Chanel's humble beginnings, from her birth in 1883 to meeting the love of her life Boy Capel. This new film unveils the woman behind the legend, who in a stroke of genius transformed the female silhouette. Coco Chanel closed one era and launched a new century of fashion." - a film by the House of Chanel

The Story of acquiring My Holy Grail Bag...

For many years I have avoided the idea of spoiling myself with my Holy Grail Bag. My practical and prudent self was just too strong.

Until one day, after several medical examinations and conversations with several doctors, it was the inevitable that I would have to go under the knife and there is that risk (as with most surgical procedures) to my life.

I prepared for everything, including a Will.

But in one Sunday as this vlog relates, something led to a spontaneous trip to Neiman Marcus. Have a watch:

And then weeks later, this happened...Have a watch:

Why Collectors Love Chanel Handbags - a video feature by Christie's

Chanel's Handcraft - a video by Chanel

Where to Buy Your Chanel Bag:

Selection of Pre-owned Chanel:

Buying pre-loved is a lot more common than it was before.

There are a plethora of used market platforms, from the classic Ebay, to the new Poshmark, Tradesy, Vestiaire Collective, Facebook Groups, and many more.

The two who stand out because of authentication services (which is a an absolute prerequisite) and sale guarantees are Fashionphile and The Real Real.