A Love Letter to Chanel Gabrielle After Its Discontinuation

A Love Letter to Chanel Gabrielle After Its Discontinuation

Love at First Sight

When the Chanel Gabrielle first made its debut, I immediately fell in love with the "boho" chic. Especially after watching Kristen Stewart's Chanel promotional video, dancing across a dusty abandoned warehouse wearing the Gabrielle bag. I've always adored Kristen and loved her so-awkward-that-it's-cool vibe. To be honest, I was a bit lost at what message the video was trying to convey, but whatever it was, I ate it up. I fell in love with the bag immediately.

The Chanel Gabrielle bag was designed by Karl Lagerfeld and launched in 2016. It has a unique design that departs from the classic Chanel aesthetic. Some reviewers found it to be too casual and lacking the elegance of other Chanel bags. For the very same reason, I adore this bag. Not a Chanel classic flap fan myself, I always find the usual aesthetic too stodgy and uninspiring. I like wearing things that are different, with a bit of character, even better if it's controversial. The Gabrielle is exactly the bag for me – it's not for everyone, but for those who get it, high five!

Photo: bauchlefashion.com

The shape of the bag was inspired by vintage binocular cases and virtual reality headsets. Take a moment and you'll see it. The main body of the bag is made from aged leather that gives it a creased look. The bottom of the bag is made of smooth leather that gives the bag its structure. Just as it wouldn't be Chanel without those matelasse chains, this bag is a "double whopper" with chains twice as long as the usual classic flap. You can double the chain like a usual shoulder bag, but you can also split the two chains and carry it on both shoulders.


Photo: Chanel.com/Gabrielle Bag 


Photo: bauchlefashion.com

Photo: saclab.com

What a genius Karl Lagerfeld was! In an era where people excuse brands for copying each other's designs because "there are only so many forms that a bag can look like, designs will eventually look like each other," Karl Lagerfeld gave us the Gabrielle, and I'd seen nothing like it before.


Love it or Hate It?

The Chanel Gabrielle bag has been a topic of discussion since its debut. Some fashionistas love it, while others aren't sold. Despite its initial buzz and acceptance amongst stars, the Gabrielle never did truly take off, maybe because it failed to win the hearts of die-hard Chanel fans for deviating from the usual aesthetics. But still, it reappeared each season in new colors and novelty iterations like tweed and metallics.

Reviews of the Chanel Gabrielle bag are quite mixed. Here are some of the things reviewers mentioned:


  • Versatility: The bag comes in a variety of colors and materials, and the convertible strap allows for multiple carrying styles.
  • Spaciousness: The bag is roomy and functional with plenty of compartments.
  • Unique Design: Some reviewers appreciate the bag's modern and youthful look.


  • Loses Shape: The slouchy top can become misshapen over time, especially in larger sizes.
  • Awkward Size: The bag might be too big or too small for some people, and the large base can be cumbersome.
  • Chain Issues: Some reviewers find the chain straps to be fussy or uncomfortable, even those that appreciate them find them too heavy.
  • Resale Value: The resale value of the Chanel Gabrielle bag seems to be declining.

Gabrielle Bag Losing Its Shape and Collapses On the Sides


Discontinuation and Price Drop

Then, in early 2023, news came that Chanel decided to discontinue the line. On the one hand, I'm sad to see that the public reception wasn't strong enough for Chanel to consider it a classic. However, it makes me even happier that this bag won't flood the streets like the Classic Flap.

Because of its dwindling popularity, the prices on the second-hand market have plummeted since its release. The small Chanel Gabrielle used to retail for around $5,000 USD. Second-hand sellers list prices anywhere from $2,500 to $4,800 USD, depending on the material, color, and condition.

I've waited long enough for the price to drop, and now is a good time to strike.  

Resale Price 

Compared to the more popular models like Classic Flap, Boy, 19 Bag, and 22 Bag, Gabrielle currently has a much lower price point. Here are some tips for you to consider when making a purchase decision. 

We've gathered data from Vestiaire Collective on the 144 Chanel Gabrielle bags sold over a 6 months period up to April 2024

  • Material: Two most commonly used material are leather and tweed. Leather is more expensive than tweed. The average price of a leather Gabrielle bag is US $2,744, and slightly cheaper for tweed at US $2,544. 

  • Size: The smaller the size, the more expensive the bag. The average price of a medium size Gabrielle bag sold is US $2,673 and slightly higher for size small at US $2,851. 


  • Color: Black and Navy are the two most popular colors demanding the highest price point around the US $3,000 mark. If you fancy adding a pop of color to your wardrobe, you could be in for a good deal. 



Will the price remain stable?

If you can find a Gabrielle bag in leather and in very good condition below $3,000, that's a bargain, and the price likely won't drop too much below that in the near term. But with newer designs being released each season and new "IT" bags surfacing (for example, the latest cult favorites are the 19 bag and the 22 bag following that), the price could drop even more in the next 3-5 years. Will it make a comeback like the Gucci Jackie 19, Bamboo 1947, and Horsebit and drive up the resale prices? Only time will tell.

Do you love the Chanel Gabrielle bag or is it not your style? Let us know in the comments below!

Back to blog

Leave a comment