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    

Authentic Chloe Tan Leather Edith Satchel Handbag Tote Purse BagChloe Marcie Medium Bag ChloChloe Crossbody Black Marcie HandbagChloe Marcie Mini Crossbody BagLarge Chloe Forest Green Shopper Weekender Bag Authentic Chloe Handbag$1995 Chloe Charlie Zig Zag Ivory Leather Drawstring Tote Bucket Bag Purse100% Authentic Chloe Brown Leather Marcie Crossbody BagChloe Paraty - Large Size With Crossbody/long Strap $595 Chloe Ladies Red Ballet Shoes W/ Price, Box & Bag (39 / 8 Us)Chloe Brown Pebbled Leather Buckle Strap Knee High Heeled Boots Size 38.5Chloe Medium Marcie Leather Satchel In Cashmere Grey $1,950 Chloe Gray Leather Braided Strap Detail Knee High Boots Sz 37.5 7.5See By Chloe Ss08 Beautiful Grecian Plaited Strap Dress 44 £450 Net-a-porter WowAuthentic Chloe Brown Leather Paddington Shoulder Bag $1300 Chloe Ethel Tote Tan Leather Handbag Bag Chloe (marcie Style) Flap Over Dark Brown Leather Shoulder Handbag _4 51256Chloe Marcie Lambskin Leather Icy Mint Top Handle Handbag With Shoulder StrapChloe Marcie Mini Shoulder BagBlack Victoria Leather Chloe Bag LncBnwt Authentic Chloe Marcie Mini Crossbody Bag $795Chloe Paddington Bag Silver Metallic Leather PurseChloe Bucket Bag Leather Beige Ysl PradaAuthentic Chloe Leather Bag With Padlock & KeyGorgeous Chloe Pebbled Leather BagChloe Marcie Medium SatchelAuthentic Chloe Marcie Bag *no Reserve*Authentic Chloe Paddington Brown Leather Bag Goldtone Hw In Excellent Condition100% Authentic Chloe "sam" Tote Bag-vintage Serial No - 04 12 51Chloe Audra Patent Leather Handbag 100%authentic Just Lower Price 08/14/2014See By Chloe Day-tripper Large Tote Bag In Crimson Red. Msrp $798Chloe Marcie Large Shoulder Bag- Black LeatherChloe Marcie Leather Hobo Large - Ruby (red)Chloe Dusty Rose Mini Marcie Shoulder BagChloe Paddington Like Camel Tan W/ Padlock Handbag Purse ~free ShippingChloe Olive Green Gray Kerala Large Horse Shoe Charms Satchel Purse Tote BagChloe Logos Handbag - Brown Leather - Authentic VintageAuthentic Chloe Paddington BagDesigner Perfume Samples 12 Sprays & Vials Gucci, Cartier, Chloe & Sephora Tote Chloe Bag Brown Purse Handbag Shoulder Tan Cognac See By Chloe Handbag-Authentic Chloe Brown Leather Purse With Tags100% Authentic Chloe Heloise Shoulder Handbag Bag Purse Hobo Chloe Paddington Handbag Purse Preowned Orig $2150 Denim Blue Unique Gorgeous!!!Chloe Black Leather Handbag With Dust Bag- Great ConditionGenuine See By Chloe Orange Logo Handbag Carryall Luggage Bright Pop Neon Cool