Do not doubt the power of Chanel’s interlocking double-C. By harnessing that monogram’s power, Chanel’s otherwise ordinary blue jeans transform from wardrobe staple into a totem of taste.
Typically only partially embellished at most, Chanel’s denim jeans have always enjoyed dependable demand but they truly blew up in 2023, as Chanel denim mania began sweeping a certain sect of shoppers and TikTokers.
Retailing between $1,800 and $3,000, Chanel’s Fall 2023 jeans are the spark that lit the match. They’re perhaps the clearest reflection of opulence served on an approachable platter: high-rise, relaxed leg, medium wash, all-over-printed Chanel monograms to taste.
Want a pair? Too bad! Sold out.
All luxury brands have their own approach to workwear but Chanel’s twist has always leaned Y2k and feminine without being cloyingly sweet. Sequins and woven trim are common, as are slim silhouettes and flared hems.
It’s just that Chanel’s jeans benefit by being, well, Chanel. I mean, Chanel can’t keep these things in stock.
Chanel jeans just have an inherent charm that crosses generations and gender norms.
In the past month or two alone, patterned Chanel denim has been co-signed by celebs as disparate as Katie Holmes, the members of K-POP sensation NewJeans (how fitting), and Kendrick Lamar, who recently wore a pair of Chanel jeans designed by Pharrell Williams to Chanel’s Métiers d’art fashion show in July.
Not a new pair of Chanel jeans, technically, but Lamar’s interest in Chanel’s printed jeans speaks to the garment’s far-reaching demand. Even the typically heteronormative sneakerdudes who follow curatorial Instagram pages get the appeal.
These folks aren’t singularly driving demand for Chanel jeans but they do reflect widespread hunger for Chanel-branded denim, a universal intrigue felt both by the aforementioned typical luxury consumers and myriad younger shoppers in whom the jeans have instilled a surprising level of passion.
Much like demand for the Chanel F1 T-shirt, the buzz behind Chanel’s printed denim is basically self-explanatory, though I will continue using adjectives regardless: they’re a great cut, knowingly ironic, genderfluid, logomania balanced by tasteful design.
The washed-out, intentionally over-the-top monogram pattern worn by Chanel’s jeans delivers the same OTT visual dopamine as a bootleg, except these are real and really luxe.
The most telling signal of the demand is that pairs of sold-out Chanel Fall 2023 jeans are flipping for upwards of double their retail price.
Older pairs of less-on-trend slimmer pairs of quilt-patterned Chanel jeans are still demanding upwards of $3k on the secondhand market, emphasizing the simple fact that people want their Chanel jeans and they want ’em now.
Demand that reaches beyond the primary source is not terribly unusual for Chanel: in 2022, the luxury label imposed limits on handbag sales in order to up its exclusivity, for example.
Just goes to show that exclusivity is in Chanel’s jeans, er, genes.