Modern Louis Vuitton Handbag history:
Whereas the inside of one's bag is supposed to be personal and intimate, the outside is practically a billboard advertising one's place in the world. This became emphasized at the end of the 18th century, when women shifted to the neoclassical style of dress. The 'outside pocket' became the modern bag, and by 1920, it became a symbol of women's independence. It said she could go where she wanted to go, and didn't need a man because he held all the possessions
Years later, Coco Chanel created a handbag that would become the standard for a generation: the 2.55, the quilted bag with chain strap that first appeared in February 1955. 'Coco's history with handbags goes way back. She liked shoulder bags to keep hands free; she was inspired by the quilted jackets from jockeys. The 2.55 was the culmination of the work she'd done previously,' says Barbara Cirkva, executive vice president of fashion at Chanel.
The bag has remained a coveted item, and current Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has returned it to must-have status. Karl has been so genius in taking the 2.55 and keeping its iconic status by reinventing it every season. He has done it in terry cloth, tweed, with sequins on it, but he keeps the most recognizable elements.