Chloé first made waves as a Parisian fashion house in 1952, when Egyptian founder Gaby Aghion introduced the world’s first high-fashion ready-to-wear line she dubbed “luxury prêt-à-porter.” Karl Lagerfeld became the main designer in 1966, making Chloé one of the most iconic brands of the '70s, worn by Jackie Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot, and Grace Kelly. In the late 1990s, Stella McCartney (daughter of Beatle Paul McCartney) brought the house even more acclaim.

But it wasn’t until McCartney’s assistant, Phoebe Philo, took over as creative director in the early 2000s that Chloé branched into the world of handbags, shoes, and other small leather goods. More than half a century after the company’s launch, Chloé made its entry into the slouchy oversized “It Bag” race, which thrived on middle-class fashionistas maxing out their credit cards on “must-have” designer bags.

The Chloé Paddington, introduced in spring 2005, sold out its first run of 8,000 handbags before a single copy hit the boutique shelves. That feat had been previously unmatched by any other It Bag, including the Balenciaga Lariat, the Fendi Baguette, or the Gucci Jackie bag. Named for its giant padlock, the soft, worn-in-looking Paddington had exaggerated functional attributes, like an extra-large zipper and hardware, that were so of-the-moment.

Riding the wave of the Paddington craze, Chloé introduced its Silverado Bag, a trapezoidal bag with whipstitched trim on the handles and side flap pockets. Chloé capitalized on these two popular handbags for a couple years, continually offering the Paddington and Silverado in new forms like satchels and hobo shoulder bags.

In 2006, Chloé introduced the Gladys, a large modern-looking leather tote bag with one or more zippers around the circumference. The girlie name meant it was intended for It Bag status: Any woman who bought one could automatically have a sense of intimate familiarity with her purse, as if it were her new best friend. Same goes for the Betty, a casual leather satchel feather big bulging pockets with bold zippers on the front, and the Edith handbag, with its fold-over buckle enclosure and buckled side pockets.

Chloé, a brand owned by luxury behemoth Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), has also produced evening bags meant to be worn as bracelets and shoulder bags with big, chunky chains for the straps. The Chloé Bay Bag, a slouchy 2007 handbag with fat leather tabs that seem to form a smiling face on the front, got notoriety when it was carried by Britney Spears. The 2007 Heloise handbag featured braided leather on the handle. The 2009 Sally was a small flap bag with clean lines and a shoulder strap.

Nearly four years after the Paddington craze, Chloé had another It Bag pre-order sell-out with its Paraty, a trapezoid bag with thick leather piping that also seemed to have a big smile on the front. Perhaps the celebrities, like Katie Holmes and Rachel Zoe, flocked to this one because it had both handles and a detachable shoulder strap. The streamlined 2009 Marcie bag, also carried by Holmes and Jessica Alba, had a similar smile-like front pocket design and a wrapped-leather handle.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Bag Lady University

Bag Lady University

Bag Lady University is the place to learn about handbag makers from Adrian's, which made Bakelite bags, to Whiting … [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Chloe Marcie Medium Leather Satchel Crossbody Handbag PurseChloe Paddington Mini Chlo$2215 Chloe' White Lizard-printed Mini Alice SatchelChloe Paraty Medium Handbag In Oceania Pre-owned In Beautiful Condition!Chloe Paddington Authentic Chloe Whiskey Brown HandbagChloe Authentic Paraty Small HandbagAuthentic Chloe Drew Bag Black Medium SizeChloe Mainline Black Leather Clasp Lock Shoulder Bag / Oversize Clutch Chloe Drew Bag Red Medium Size Chloe Paraty SatchelChloe Medium Elsie Shoulder Bag Black Retail $1495+Large Chloe Maroon Wine Brown Leather Slouchy Hobo Bag Purse Handbag Nr Chloe Beige Leather Chain Strap Elsie Shoulder BagSephora Holiday Bag Urban Decay Marc Jacobs Philosophy Smashbox Chloe Tote LotChloe Authentic Calfskin Leather Paddington Shoulder Handbag Brown TanDesigner Chloe Paddington Padlock Leather Hand Bag Chocolate Brown Ladies PurseAuthentic Chloe Vanessa Cross-body (clutch)See By Chloe Leather & Suede Shoulder Bag Handbag W Zipper Bow Detail Blue GreyChloe Marcie Nut Brown Medium Satchel Handbag $1950 Pristine!Chloe Grey Quilted Leather Small Bay Satchel BagChloe Edith Bowler HandbagAuth. Chloe Edith Hobo Leather Shoulder Bag Ivory!Chloe Paddington Gold Hand Bag-authentic Chloe Handbag With Serial Number. Authentic Chloe Paddington Shoulder Tote Bag Black Italy Leather Vintage Chloe HandbagChloe' Paddington Black Pebbled Leather Boots Szie 38.5 100% Authentic Chloe "sam" Tote Bag-vintage Serial No - 04 12 51Authentic Chloe Paddington HandbagChloe Ivory Putty Square Silverado Tote Hand BagChloe Ethel Medium Handbag Bag Satchel Pink Blush Leather $1395Glenda Gies, Baby Chloe Chartreuse Chenille Handbag W/brooch Style # 1128Chloe Silverado HandbagGlenda Gies Chloe Pink And Orange Purse With Orange Lining Chloe HandbagChloe Alison Black Leather & Gray East West Tote Bag See By Chloe Large Hobo Shoulder Bag BlackChloe White Purse Pouch / Holder - 18" X 16.5"Chloe Large Marcie BagAuthentic Chloe Alice Bag Large Tote Beige White And BlackAuthentic See By Chloe Large Beige & Brown Daytripper Shoulder Satchel Purse BagCosmetic Bag + 8 Samples Chanel , Chloe, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancome, Viktor RolLove Chloe Faux Leather Cosmetic BagSee By Chloe Cherry Convertible Satchel Handbag Converts Across Body Or ShoulderChloe Small Make Up Bag Or Coin PouchSee By Chloe Perfumed Body Lotion 1oz Travel Purse SizeAuthentic Chloe Canvas Tan & Brown Travel Cosmetic BagChloe HandbagChloe Small Handbag In BeigeLove Chloe Faux Leather Cosmetic Bag