In The Bag

50 shades of beige: the Chanel Caviar Flap

Anna Schaefer
Contributing Writer Luxury Connoisseur

“50 shades of beige: the Chanel Caviar Flap”

Any woman worth her salt has already completed a thorough investigation into Chanel’s delicious array of lipstick shades. She knows exactly which suits her best — and which ones are better left on the endcap display where they first called her name.


Of course, when it comes to Chanel, lipstick is just the beginner’s game. The Chanel Classic Caviar Flap proves equally distinctive, featuring a fresh shade every year (and even season, specifically coded for those with a proper education in fashion— see below). If you know what to look for, you know that all are desirable, but some are highly-sought-after and (arguably) worth holding out for.


After all, this isn’t just about a splurge to glow-up your make-up routine. It’s a true investment in your wardrobe and the kind of piece that will only continue to gain value over time.


In fact, certain shades become nearly iconic. Why? Once Chanel releases a particular color, they rarely release it again. Just one reason why shops with a range of years available (pst, FASHIONPHILE) might just be the perfect place to find it.


Beyond desirability, there’s also the simple but all-important consideration of taste. Which Classic Chanel Flaps are most desirable, remarkable, and worth noting? Let’s take a look at the range you can explore if you’ve got the eye for it.

The perfect shade of beige

From deeper taupey hues to a brighter, almost-yellow, Chanel has proven again and again that you should never underestimate the subtle power of brown’s more refined cousin.


Chanel’s 2014 caviar beige edition is distinctly bright and even a tad optimistic, while the same handbag three years later sported a more subdued beige with almost pinkish undertones. 2019 met somewhere in the middle, hitting the mark on both maturity and versatility. (The full 50-ish shades of beige, here.)

On a rosier note

Now let’s take a look at the pinks. As seems fitting, older models like the 2005 sport an almost bubblegum hue (and a price tag comparable to newer ones — that’s how obsessed people are with them, even to this day) while the 2018 feels nearly coral. If you go further back in the time capsule, the early 2000s revealed a more demure, ballet-slipper-like pink. And those are just the highlights — you can find a whole spectrum in the FASHIONPHILE shop.

Worth mentioning: a word on the year & materials

The Classic Chanel Flap can be purchased in a range of materials, usually caviar or lambskin. There’s a theory (and by theory we mean a widespread opinion) that much of the caviar was actually superior in less recent years, and that the most recent bags produced are of a slightly less supple quality. While we can’t confirm absolutely if that’s so, it’s a nice and natural little plug for purchasing a pre-owned piece that carries a solid legacy along with it.


Generally speaking, we recommend the caviar because it wears well, is more durable, and still provides a supple, beautiful look. You can rest assured that if you’re envisioning using it on a semi-regular (or regular) basis, it’ll hold up well and continue to look fresh for years to come.


Chanel seasonal names & coding, as promised

C = Cruise (Early winter)

P = Printemps (Spring/ Summer Act 1 – late winter/early spring)

S = Spring (Spring / Summer Act 2 – spring/early summer)

A = Autumn (late summer)

B = Autumn/ Winter act 1 (early fall)

K = Autumn/ Winter act 2 (late fall)

00 or V= Classic/Permanent Collection

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