This week, as we gear up to celebrate National Handbag Day, we want to share some of our favorite stories that involve bags. When I’ve chatted with different handbag lovers, I inevitably end up hearing some really crazy stories of the lengths people go through to get the bag of their dreams.

I am no different, and in the very beginning of the PurseBlog days, I went through great trials to get my hands on one of the most covetable It Bags of all time. Rewind to August of 2005: I was in Cologne, Germany, visiting Vlad while he was in grad school. The Chloé Paddington was the most sought-after bag of the day, and I wanted one to call my own. The bag was sold out everywhere, and the more I looked, the more I realized my chance of getting one was incredibly slim.

Every online store was sold-out, so I started to call boutiques in Europe to see if any of them had a Paddington by chance. I specifically remember calling the Chloé boutique in Paris and the sales associate literally laughed at me and said, in a perfect French accent, “A Paddington?! Everybody wants a Paddington, nobody has one!”

Chloe Paddington 2

I called the Chloé Munich boutique next, and Vlad spoke to the sales associate in German, explaining just how much I wanted a Paddington and that he was desperately trying to track one down for me. The associate told him we were in luck; they had a wine-colored Chloé Paddington they had been holding for a customer who did not arrive back from vacation in time, so the bag was just being released from the hold that day. We asked if we could come sometime during the week to get it, but she explained that there was a long list of people wanting a Paddington and she would hold it for us just for that day.

So we did what any sane handbag lover would do: we got in the car and headed toward Munich, promising to be there before the store closed (which, based on timing alone, was going to be tricky). The drive was just shy of six hours each way, not including stopping for food, gas and bathroom breaks.

I remember how excited I was on the way there; we both were! This was right after we started PurseBlog, and I was so excited to get the bag I was lusting after. Once we arrived, which was only about 30 minutes before the store’s closing, I met the sales associate, checked out the bag and handed over my card before I knew it.

I finally had my wine Chloé Paddington and she was beautiful. We were so tired and needed to start the six-hour drive back to Cologne, so we didn’t even get ourselves a nice dinner: we went to McDonald’s. Yes, I was carrying my new 955 euro bag and eating McDonald’s fries.

We had so much adrenaline on the way to Munich, but I can’t say the same for the drive home. We were coming off the high of the entire experience, and Vlad and I still talk about trip to this day. I love that bag; it was one of my first major purchases and one of my best handbag stories. Shop Chloé via Net-A-Porter.

What is your craziest bag acquisition story?

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  • madelaine21

    Wow! At least you have a great story and memory with your paddington. Sometimes, the bags no matter the cost or price, its the memory you have to share with it is what makes it one of the best bags… Great story

  • Sandy

    I am trying to imagine my husband driving for 6 hours so I could purchase a bag. I remember one time I made him drive from Laguna to the Nordstrom in Topanga for a Chanel WOC I could not find anywhere else and he complained the entire time.

    • HAHA! I mean ya, Vlad ends up winning handbag support role because he was just as excited as I was ;)

  • Jess

    Love the fact that you got your Paddington in Munich which is where I am living.

  • euliandra

    That is one exquisite bag! Quite a story as well! Would probably do the same though. Hehehe.

  • ElainePG

    I completely adore every aspect of this story, Megs… especially that you and Vlad made the drive together, and that he was (very nearly) as excited as you were! I’m lucky enough to have a husband who “gets” my handbag lust, and I’m supremely grateful that he does. When I’m excited about a new bag, he’s excited for me… and that adds to my fun. Lucky us! (Oh… and the bag itself? WAY beyond gorgeous!)

  • shrimp231

    I appreciate the great story and memory with your paddington,and the bag is so meaningful to you.

  • Karisma

    More than 26 years ago my coworker came to work carrying a perfect red Harve Bernard shoulder bag. It was my first experience with handbag love. My coworker didn’t mind me wanting the same bag, but alas she picked it up at one of those warehouse sales in Manhattan that was very popular back in the day. Armed with the color and style indeliblely marked in my mind, my husband and I got up at the crack of dawn, got on a subway from Queens and went to one of these sales in the city. I had to scout out the date and location for weeks by the way. I waited on line with others who I now understand to have been part of the sisterhood (I was too young to understand at the time.). When the doors opened, I ran like my very life depended on it and to my utter shock and elation, there she was! I grabbed my bag and that was all I needed. When I picked her up, it was a feeling I won’t ever forget. Yeah, I know it’s a handbag, but still. It was crazy enough to find it, but the adrenaline rush I felt when those doors opened and I ran in and grabbed my bag should have told me I was a handbag girl way back then. I now understand I’m a handbag lover! My love of handbags doesn’t take away from my love given to anyone else in my world. So I say, “why not?” Anyway, that is my story. Not very exciting, but one I will never forget.

    • Nini Kaferle

      Great story!!! Do you still have the bag? Also, happy National Handbag Day everyone!!!!!!!!! (We don’t have that in France so I guess I’m feeling a bit American today :-))

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  • Nini Kaferle

    Such a story… That is one day you’ll never forget :-) Thanks for sharing!

  • Nini Kaferle

    I discovered the Anya Hindmarch Small Pont tote “Bags have feelings too” earlier
    this year, on a blog were it was described as “ridiculous”. It was love at
    first sight because this bag appealed to the little girl in me – the little
    girl who thought at the time that her plush toys were, in fact, alive. This bag
    was the “incarnation” of my most whimsical feelings! But its cost was a bit
    much, so I decided to wait for a sale. Unfortunately, a few weeks later, it was
    sold out on mytheresa. I was pretty sad. They still had it on Saks, but that
    meant paying a lot of import fees (I’m French). But then again, a few days
    later, it was sold out here too. Not one little fella left for me on the whole
    internet! I had by the time realized that I would live in regret if I didn’t
    manage to get one. So I created a “Back in stock alert”, without really believing
    it would ever be back in stock. A few days later, I went on the Saks site
    again, I really don’t know why (maybe I’m a bit of a masochist?) – and there it
    was, waiting for me!!! Still with enormous import fees (it cost me almost twice
    as much as what I would have paid on mytheresa…), but it didn’t matter anymore –
    I think I never concluded a transaction so fast, I even misspelled my address in
    the process! I was literally shaking by the end of it :-) But it was not over : when I went
    to check my emails to be sure that the order was placed, I saw that 20 minutes
    before my order, I had in fact received an email to tell me that the bag was
    back in stock – so it appears that without knowing it, I stumbled by chance upon
    the bag 20 minutes after its being back! The little guy (named Woody) now
    accompanies me every day to work and I love him :-)
    (Oh, and there’s also the time I won my first auction on ebay – it was for a Le
    comptoir des cotonniers satchel: I arrived at work early to be in front of my
    computer during the last minutes of the auction, and when I won, I jumped all
    around the room :-))
    Anyway, those are my (long) stories – not quite crazy, but emotionally charged
    that’s for sure!
    Happy National Handbag Day everyone!!!

  • Smithy

    What a great story that only a handbag lover could understand.

  • QuelleFromage

    I was just as in love with the Paddington back then and that is still a beautiful bag – what a color! I think my craziest is the time I went to an auction trying to snag an Hermès Kelly I just HAD to have. I was supposed to be at work but fortunately the auction house had wi-fi, so I pretended to be in the office while I stalked the bag and watched people bid on $100K Birkins. (I got the bag. At a bargain.)

  • stuff4cc

    Great story! I’m glad you shared and it just shows the perseverance pays off! Do you still have the bag?

  • Emma

    My first love began of bags when I was about 8 and my best friends mother would buy Vogue Italy and France. I’ll never forget buying my very first Céline. The coveted luggage was sold out everywhere in black smooth calf leather. My husband and I were in Paris and we had just spent a whole day before searching for a luggage. Finally at the last shop I had overhead a Chinese tourist in La Fayette asking for the exact same Micro Luggage as me! At this time I had been to every store in the UK and Paris looking for my Micro and to no surprise all I was told was sold out and that they wouldn’t know when or if any others were coming in. To my surprise the lady in the Céline concept store turned to the Chinese tourist and said, ” I believe there is one left at our Montaigne store. My eyes nearly popped out of my head knowing that it was a public holiday the following day meant I wouldn’t be able to get it so like a flash of lightning we bolted across town dodging every tourist in sight as I knew the very same lady would be on her way to grab my bag. As I rolled up to the store in my puffer jacket ,sweat dripping from my eyebrows, I immediently explained to the shop assistant what I wanted and I heard there was one left. He didn’t looked hopeful as he was under the impression it was sold. My heart dropped then my husband said could he please double check…. and surprise! there she was in all her black smooth leather glory. Might I add the Chinese tourist arrived just as we were leaving. Lucky me,

    • Jess

      Hahaha, what a great story. Love it!

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  • Vicky

    Your story is so good. :) I like that Vlad support you on the quest. ;)

    My story involve my first major purchase as well. It’s the MJ Stella in 2003. I first saw it in Lucky’s fashion spread “I want ….. That can….., but also can…..” Sometime around the end of 2002. It just capture my heart. I did the research on it and even took a look at that spread every night before I went to bed. It’s such a big amount of money for me back then. Finally, some day in February 2003, I gave my mom a call telling my situation and asked what she thought and if I should buy the bag. She said I should get it if I really want it that bad. I hang up and gave the boutique a call. They shipped it to me overnight and voila! Although the color featured in the magazine, faded brick, was long gone (it’s the it color back then) I reluctantly went ahead with the only color they had, black. I never liked black bag, but since I was crazy about this bag for so long and I’m afraid it’d be my only chance to get it before it’s gone, I pushed ahead. I open the box and I just fall in love. And the love is still here all the time. :)

  • crescent

    I bought my Chanel flap bag because my mom pushed me to. Months before I bought the bag, my family traveled around Europe and my mom already noticed my fondness for it. At the time, my sister was already egging me to buy the bag but since I was only getting started with my career, I couldn’t really afford it yet. I told them that I would probably buy it for my 30th birthday instead. Fast forward a couple of months later, I went to Miami for a business trip. My sister asked me to check out a bag for her in Bal Harbour Shops (for those unfamiliar, it’s like the Rodeo Drive of Florida). The city I live in doesn’t have a Chanel boutique and when my mom learned that there’s one in Bal Harbour, she told me to buy the bag. If I don’t buy it, she will forever call me cheapskate. She also offered to shoulder the cost of the bag when my credit card bill comes and I would pay her back in installments instead. I’m surprised how adamant my mom is for me to get this bag because she is very practical with her purchases and this falls under the category frivolous in her books. In retrospect, I’m glad my mom pushed me to buy the bag because given how Chanel’s prices have risen astronomically through the years, I don’t think I could have afforded it when I did turn 30 some years later.

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  • vesna

    My story starts in 2008 when I was looking at myself in the mirror of a boutique with Fendi parchment oversize (medium, about 16″ length) baguette, fabulous smooshy baguette with thin pale suede lining. I was offered 10% sales discount on it’s regular $2100 cost. Wow, I would not be able to give this for the loveliest bag, with this discount it was all the same. It stayed with me, in my mind, gorgeous lightly glazed leather, similar to the finest Bal. Last year, vacation in Honolulu, I enter evil bay waters to look for something and as I follow Fendi baguette search, amazing red, deep red parchment, new, brand new for $300 starting bid, no one bids, and I win. I am Canadian, going back home in a month, customs would kill the great price, international shipping over $50……..a light bulb above my head ! I saw at the entrance to our condo complex in Kuhio Street in Waikiki, a receptionist, mail boxes behind and the address in large letters if we needed anything mailed while there. I asked the seller if that would be an option. of course she replied :) my husband almost had a heart attack when the receptionist handed him a large FEDEX box with my name and Waikiki address on it. he is drowning in parcels at home in Canada, postman always greeting me like a relative almost, sending regards via my husband if I were not at home, with parcel after parcel……but here in Hawaii, my name and Kuhio Street Hawaii King condos address, and a gorgeous red bag ???? he cried laughing. I spent the rest of the vacation carrying my beloved lovely pop of colour bag for every stroll, dinner and drink.

  • Olivia Kuntjoro-Jakti

    Chloe Paddington (mine is beige) was the bag that triggered my bag obsession as well! I rarely wear it now, but I still have it, tucked away in my bag closet, and every time I look at the leather, the bronzed lock…it takes me back to that time when I first bought it. I live in Australia at the time and I had to begged my brother, who was travelling to Europe, to make a stopover in London, just to pick up the bag for me. I still get compliments when I wear it now (very rarely), although nowadays, I leave the lock at home.