If you are like me who is unapologizingly addicted to the Chanel hunting game, you probably noticed the recent surge of Chanel Uniform bags across resale sites in Europe and North America. Some of the uniform bags, especially the waist bags selling somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500 are actually quite sought after, with irresistible features such as the timeless quilted flap construction, Caviar leather and Mademoiselle lock closure.
So is it a piece worth investing? I took a closer look and my answer is no. No. NO!
Ask yourself - what makes a Chanel bag special to you? Is it just the logo or something beyond? The design and craftsmanship, functionality, and the living soul of Chanel herself? If you are a logomaniac, be my guest; but if you are looking for something beneath the surface, you shall not find your satisfaction in a Chanel Uniform bag.
To begin with, these bags are not made in France or Italy! Sadly, often time the origin itself draws the line between luxury and wannabes. Some of the Uniform bags do not even have origin information but for the older ones, you can find a fabric tag such as "Made in Romania" inside.
Second, it is not the right Caviar leather neither. See below comparison between the true Caviar leather and the "Caviar" leather on a Chanel Uniform bag. As the name itself suggests, the treated Caviar grain resembles the texture of the fish roe delicacy, tightly arranged small eggs with a bumpy touch and subtle shine. The Uniform "Caviar", however, looks just like regular textured leather imitating the natural grain of calf leather.
The hardware is hastily done without so much intentionality. The closure is in fact a snap button with the Mademoiselle lock imitation. A much cheaper alternative.
Finally, here comes the tricky part. Are these Uniform bags legit? I would say they fall into the grey area. Just like my opinion about the Chanel VIP gift bags, they are not made with the same standards of a Chanel retail bag. Can you tell the difference between the hologram stickers on the Classic Flap bag and the Uniform bag?