In today’s fresh confessional we meet a young collector who has a small, but mighty collection of bags. After snagging their very first Hermès bag, this confessor admits to being bitten by the H-bug and now seems to lust after only H-bags. That being said this Birkin lover still finds their most sentimental bag to be a Goyard tote that was gifted to them during a trip overseas. Though this confessor’s collection consists of only a handful of bags, it is quite an envious one, given this collector’s young age.
Admirably, this confessor has worked to save and budget for most of their purchases, aside from two bags that were gifted. Wise beyond their years, CC 119 is also well aware of the privileges that come with being student-debt free and living rent/mortgage free as well. Get a candid look into the life of a young collector below. Don’t forget to submit your own CC to see it here next!
Location: Chicago, IL
Industry: Investment Banking
Household Income: $170,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 5
What bags are in your collection?
Chanel Classic Flap, Beige, SHW
Hermès Birkin 25, Black, RGHW
Hermès Birkin 25, Gris Tourterelle, RGHW
Hermès Kelly 25 Sellier, Vert Criquet, GHW
How much is your collection worth? Hard to say – I buy Hermès BNIB from resellers, so I’d probably have an aneurysm if I ever did the math on how much my bags cost in-store vs how much I paid for them
What is your most expensive bag? My K25 in Vert Criquet – I think I ended up paying around 2.5x retail price. No regrets!
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? What they say about the slippery orange slope is 100% accurate (in my experience, anyways)—3 bags in and I’m Hermès-monogamous. That said, my favorite/most functional piece is actually the Artois; it was a gift from my best friend, and the only bag I carried during the best three weeks of my life (aka our Spain 2018 trip, which was so freaking perfect I now remember it as a quasi-religious experience, lol).
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? 17; Chanel CF. This was the bag that kicked off my lifelong addiction—I literally dreamed about getting my unworthy teenage hands on a CF for months. My parents said they’d buy me the Chanel as a grad gift if I made valedictorian…so I ended up being the only weirdo who still paid attention in class after college decisions came out.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Maybe a BKC in Rouge Casaque/GHW? Or Craie/Trench/RGHW…But I’m pretty happy with my collection as is (for the time being)—I don’t go out that often, so minimalism works for me. Also, I’m getting older and I need to be more responsible 😛
Longer term, irresponsibly, irrationally…I really, really want a matte croc Birkin. Haha, a girl can dream.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Goyard!! For the aforementioned reasons.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Definitely. I have the face and figure of a prepubescent tween, so SAs only take me seriously when I’m carrying a nice bag. I’m also Chinese—I sometimes think that people in the States/Europe try to categorize us as either gawking tourists from the countryside, or big spenders a la Crazy Rich Asians, and sartorial choices play a huge role in determining which camp they assign us to. Which sucks, obviously.
More broadly—I genuinely love handbags for their own sake, and I’d still love them in a vacuum (I’d never spend so much money on them otherwise), but that doesn’t change the fact that they also function as and are marketed as status symbols. Is it gratifying when I catch someone staring at my Kelly? Well…yeah. (Especially since I lust after other people’s bags/shoes/clothes all the time)
How often do you buy new bags? Previously once per year, now closer to once every two years as my wish list narrows
Which stores do you frequent the most? My Hermès reseller, haha. Love/hate relationship.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Never used—I’m freakishly OCD about keeping my bags pristine, which I realize is totally counter to the Western, French, Jane Birkin-esque school of cool-girl thought. Slouching or scuffed corners would bother me to death. Probably not the best mindset, but I can’t help it
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Nope. Too much of a hassle and I don’t have many bags to begin with
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Definitely not from American society at large. From my friends, yes—they’re all avid shoppers with absolutely incredible handbag collections. Sometimes I do feel judged on the basis of what I wear/carry, but whatever. I also spend a lot of time on 小红书, which is kind of like Chinese insta—very dangerous. Everyone’s so gorgeous and well-dressed!!
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Not financial ones. I think it’s dangerous to label them as such; it feels like an excuse to justify over-spending. But as investments in happiness? Yes!
Who influences your buying decisions? Me, my best friend (who has the best style of anyone I know), Chinese celebrities/social media/dramas. But mostly me…I think.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Nope. I won’t grovel for a bag, which is why I’ve never tried to cultivate a relationship at Hermès. I just don’t love any of their ready-to-wear, jewelry, or furniture enough, and I refuse to pretend otherwise.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I love fashion; I love putting together cute outfits; I love curating a collection that perfectly aligns with my taste/aesthetic.
I’m not a shopaholic, per se; I plan my purchases very strategically (I have a spreadsheet!), I never impulse-buy, and I only go for things that truly make me happy. I guess the thought of shopping also powers me through work sometimes…when I’m answering emails at 1am, my shopping wishlist is the only thing that keeps me from defenestrating my laptop on the spot
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Yup. When I was seven, my family and I went to LV to browse, and I vividly remember being followed/condescended to by overtly hostile and dismissive SAs. This was before we all became more image-conscious. I never want to feel that way again; maybe, subconsciously, that’s why I’m so drawn to “power bags.”
I also once overheard a SA at Chanel asking her co-worker “what that 13 year old was doing here,” after she thought I’d left the boutique. I was actually 19 at the time…oops.
Who pays for your bags? My parents paid for the Chanel; my bff paid for the Artois. I like to think of myself as having paid for everything else, out of my salary or other income streams…but let’s be real. I’m lucky to have no student debt and free housing, which means a higher discretionary budget than I’d otherwise be able to afford.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Yes—a reasonable percentage of my income (and especially my bonus) goes into my discretionary account.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Not because I couldn’t afford it, but…
The summer after high school, I really wanted to bring my CF with me to uni, but I was terrified my roommate/hallmates would steal it. So, naturally, I went to China and bought a fake to act as a “decoy” for potential thieves. It sounds so stupid in hindsight—and I’d never support counterfeiters now, knowing what I know about the industry.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I’m terminally single, so no. But in case that ever changes: on principle, I think no one should feel obligated to hide things from their partners. That sounds toxic.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Worked 100hr weeks/graduated early? Honestly, as ridiculous as it sounds, a big part of why I choose to do what I do is because I want to personally fund my love for handbags/consumption hobbies.
I also accidentally, briefly, had a sugar daddy in uni. He wasn’t that old, though—like late twenties-ish? We broke up after one (very awkward) dinner, haha.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Not really. I don’t do anything too crazy (anymore), I don’t buy anything I can’t afford, and I like to think I’m pretty self-disciplined. But maybe I’m just deluding myself…I did loose a lot of sleep over that Kelly, after all…
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I love jewelry, albeit not as much as bags. I’m also a huge foodie, and I enjoy traveling (although I rarely have the time for it nowadays)
Anything else you would like to include? Hopefully I don’t get flamed in the comments for being too blunt or bratty; I just wanted to share my honest thoughts, as flawed as they may be. I’ve lurked on TPF/TPB for the last five years, so it’s fun to finally make a contribution!