It’s hard to define what constitutes an It bag, but let’s just say: you know it when you see it. And in the universe of It bags, CHANEL‘s iconic 11.12 hits all the marks, from its double C closure to its diamond quilt pattern to the interwoven leather and chain strap. First designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 1983 as a reinterpretation of CHANEL’s classic 2.55 handbag, the 11.12 has become a calling card for stylish women everywhere, from French actress Anna Mouglalis to Moroccan Egyptian model Imaan Hammam, to Edmonton-based creator and entrepreneur Alyssa Lau. “The 11.12 just seemed to tick off all the boxes for me,” Lau says. “It has a classic and thoughtful design that preserves its heritage and transcends fads, it has a versatile double-chain shoulder strap, and it can fit everything I could ever need when I’m travelling or heading out for the day. I also couldn’t get it out of my head for months before I purchased it.”
Lau purchased her CHANEL 11.12 in 2017 as both a gift to herself and “an ode to all the years that I managed to push away thoughts of self-doubt and unworthiness.” The handbag has since become a staple in her wardrobe which she loves to pair with a simple jeans and T-shirt combo. The CHANEL 11.12 has been a welcome companion to many special moments in her life, from her first ultrasound (Lau is currently pregnant with her first child) to celebrating her partner’s birthday while on vacation in Seoul, Korea.
Lau is the mastermind behind New Classics, a slow fashion e-commerce site focusing on small, ethical brands, something she says goes hand in hand with her love for CHANEL. “What is so alluring to me about both small and luxury brands is the thoughtfulness that is poured into their pieces and the stories behind their clothes.” She continues, “I love interweaving these two seamless elements in my wardrobe and know that the pieces I choose to invest in will be something I can proudly keep in my wardrobe for years to come and even pass down.”
Photography by Eric Yun
CHANEL Beauty and fashion courtesy of CHANEL’s Spring-Summer 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection.
View the gallery for more of CHANEL’s iconic 11.12.