In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals we have the unique opportunity to get a look into the bag-buying habits of someone who works very closely with luxury handbags. This late-twenties Canadian works as a consignment associate and not surprisingly she shops mostly the secondary market! A true handbag lover at her core, this confessor began loving bags with the purchase of her very first luxury bag at 18—a vintage Chanel XL Flap. What a great first bag!
Since that very first purchase, like many of us, this luxury lover was hooked and her passion for bags is about more than just the luxury of it all. This confessor studied art in college, which fuels her passion for artist collaborations or special/limited edition bags. With that being said, this collector has amassed a collection filled with special pieces, most notably rare Louis Vuitton pieces from the Stephen Sprouse and Murakami collections. Her collection also includes a few covetable vintage pieces and next she’s got her sights set on a Kelly. Read the fully CC now and don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Female
Occupation: Consignment Associate
Industry: Luxury resale
Household Income: $40,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 20?ish
What bags are in your collection?
– Chanel Black Lambskin Jumbo XL Flap (vintage)
– Chanel Black Calfskin Cerf Executive Tote
– Chanel Silver Sequin E/W flap
– Dior Black Small Lady Dior (vintage)
– LV x Stephen Sprouse Graffiti Pochette
– LV x Murakami Cherries Speedy 25
– LV Monogram Speedy 35
– Gucci Tan Calfskin Web Boston Bag
– Gucci Black Calfskin Web Boston Bag
– Moschino “McDonald’s” inspo Quilted Flap Crossbody
– Prada Calfskin Small Crossbody (vintage)
– Gucci Black Leather Horseshoe Flap Crossbody (vintage)
– Fendi Crown Calfskin Twins Tote
– LV Tri-Colour Epi Noe
– LV Tan Epi Noe
– Alexander Wang Greenish-grey Rocco satchel
– Fendi Orange/purple Patent Baguette
– Saint Laurent Brown Duffle 6
– Longchamp x Jeremy Scott Pills Pliage tote
– Longchamp x Jeremy Scott As Seen On TV Pliage tote
How much is your collection worth? Depends on the market 😉
What is your most expensive bag? I think my most expensive bag as of now is my vintage Chanel XL Flap. It was my first designer bag and really started my collection off on a strong foot. I purchased it for $900CAD secondhand when I was 18 and now it resells for over $3000CAD minimum, assuming the condition isn’t terrible.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I studied art in college so my LV bags that are from limited edition collections with artists or other designers are masterpieces to me. I hope to add more to my collection in the future!
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? Answered above!
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I’m trying to scope out an Hermès- bag finally. I’d love a Kelly but not sure how realistic that is for right now… I do have a major appreciation for older bags that show their wear so fingers crossed that helps make the bag more attainable financially!
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Cherries Speedy… I love everything about it… I’ve been searching for twillys to protect the handles even.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes and no. Some people don’t know one bag from the next so it goes undetected most of the time if I had to guess… but when shopping at designer stores, it definitely affects how the sales associates treat you.
How often do you buy new bags? It’s almost an occupational hazard at this point since I work so closely with them in a consignment store so I try to pace myself but every few months? Finances permitting?
Which stores do you frequent the most? I love a bag that has wear to give it some character and then I don’t feel like I have to baby the bag so much while out and about, so it’s mostly secondhand places. There’s some great Canadian websites which have been perfect because there are no import charges – Love that Bag etc, VSP, Poshbag, a few local brick and mortar places, and then I look around Vestiaire and eBay but haven’t purchased anything off those sites just yet.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Almost exclusively.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Not usually, I tend to get very attached to my bags and hate to see them go once I bring them home with me. Recently, I sold a vintage Chanel drawstring bag and was able to turn a profit after only a year and a half of owning 🙂
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not really, I don’t care for trends, I love the classics and then sometimes the unique pieces you get from collabs and such.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Yes but I think it’s mostly to justify the purchase. Most of them are investments and have proven to be the case but then there are some I just like and go for regardless.
Who influences your buying decisions? I go based on what I like but, funnily, also my grandmother… She is my favourite person and was initially the one who turned me on to bags as a little girl… Recently, I purchased a Goyard cardholder in green because green is her favourite colour <3
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not at all…
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I just love getting to see the silhouettes and craftsmanship of these luxury bags. They’re pieces of wearable art for me.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Yes, I recently had a bad experience at the LV boutique at Holt Renfrew in Montreal while asking them for some info on the phasing out of date codes… I have purchased from the store before, albeit this sales associate didn’t know that because he didn’t ask me anything, and he wouldn’t give me any info on anything unless I purchased something first. Off-putting doesn’t even begin to cover it. I had stopped in on a Sunday after working my second job as a part-time merchandiser so I wasn’t exactly “dressed to impress” and I think he made a snap judgement about me from the start, which is unfortunate. Customer equality should be a priority.
Who pays for your bags? In the incomparable words of Cher, “my mother told me to marry a rich man, and I said, mom, I am a rich man.”
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Not necessarily, I try to work it out as I go since you never know what will pop up.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? I did love going to Canal street in NYC as a kid… My parents weren’t proponents for luxury shops or items so that was honestly where I got my initial understand of designer bags, oddly enough!
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I am a single lady 🙂 with a purse problem 🙂
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Nothing too out of the ordinary. I’m a very big fan of the somewhat new layaway options offered almost everywhere – it makes buying a big purchase a lot easier and less painful so that’s saved me from going to any extremes.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? I do have a purse addiction but I’m not in denial and try to keep a clear head about it and what purchases I can realistically afford.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? My rescue dog who is around 14/15 years old… I would sell all my bags in a heartbeat for her if I had to.
Anything else you would like to include? Working in the secondary market I would just want to stress to fellow purse lovers who are interested in selling their bags – even when in mint NWT condition – it’s important to note the difference between asking price and selling price (and not the retail selling price…) 😉