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    

$1290 Authentic Chloe Brown Marcie Leather Crossbody Bag Purse ClutchAuthentic Chloe Marcie Bag Satchel Medium Nut Brown Leather$1990 Authentic Chloe Paraty Black Handbag Shoulder Leather Bag Purse SatchelAuthentic Chloe Paraty Satchel Medium Shoulder Strap In Excellent ConditionChloe Leather Edith Satchel Whiskey Purse Handbag Tote Shopper 78918Genuine Gray Chloe Marcie Medium Size Leather Satchel Chloe Python Betty Large Tote Light Blue Purse Handbag Shopper 78622Authentic Chloe Paddington Handbag Bag Beige Leather Italy BrownChloe Paraty Medium Tote - DoveAuthentic Rare Chloe Large Marcie Crossbody Messenger Bag Lock Latch Cream PurseChloe Black Leather HandbagChloe Paddington HandbagChloe Leather Clutch Bag With Gold Wristlet (originally $875)Chloe Goatskin Betty Tan Purse Hand Bag Tote Shopper 87474Authentic Chloe Paddington Black Leather Shoulder Bag Gorgeous!Authentic/genuine Chloe Designer Black Leather Paddington Tote Handbag PurseAuthentic See By Chloe Tote Bag Reds 95188Authentic Chloe Hand Bag Black 84408Authentic Chloe Hand Bag Mini Paddington Cream 84650Chloe Marcie Large HandbagChloe Marcie Medium Crossbody Shoulder Bag In Tan (light Brown) Rare! Rrp $1700 Chloe Paddington BagAuthentic Chloe Shoulder Bag Browns 61284Authentic Chloe Hand Bag Paddington Gold 61285See By Chloe Handbag - Gorgeous Blue ColorAuthentic Chloe Hand Bag Paddington Browns 61281Authentic Chloe Black Sally Frame Leather Flap Chain Bag Clutch $1,795Authentic Chloe Bronte Shoulder Bag - Msrp $2750Chloe Large Dalston Trunk Triple Top Zip Black Leather Satchel Handbag Auth Chloe Medium Satchel Hand Bag Crossbody Brown Leather Vintage 325-6 3.9Authentic Chloe Hand Bag Paddington Black 84533Authentic Chloe Hand Bag Paddington Browns 85047Chloe Black Quilted Bay Bowler Bag (medium)Authentic Chloe Hand Bag Paddington Browns 85048Authentic Chloe Hand Bag Paddington Olive 84360Authentic Chloe Hand Bag Paddington Browns 85050Authentic Chloe Hand Bag Paddington Cream 85046Guar. Auth. Chloe Black Leather Shoulder Bag W/!!Sexy Italian Chloe Denim Leather Handbag Tote Purse WomensChloe Medium 'dree' Leather Satchel In Bronze/green Pebbled LeatherAuthentic Chloe Hand Bag Paddington Browns 85038Chloe Yellow Jade Medium Color-blocked Leather Shoulder Bag $ 2.6 Clearance SaleSee By Chloe "so Gold" Black Leather Satchel Duffle Shoulder Handbag Authentic Chloe Beige Leather Metal Lock Shoulder Bag$795~ See By Chloe Flapjack Large Purse Handbag Shopper Tote BagSephora 7 Sample Fragrance Lot Plus Bag Dolce Chloe Kors Lancome Spicebomb RalphAuth Chloe Brown Leather Bronze Tone Buckle Satchel Handbag In Dust Bag Mhl Bc4Chloe Long PurseChloe Vintage Blue Epi Leather Chain BagJapan See By Chloe Small Pounch BagChase & Chloe Womens Tan Fringe Ankle Gladiator Flat T-strap Sandal Size 7 Nib Chloe Shiny White Zip Coin Purse Wallet