In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a bag lover whose obsession with bags began as a teen but recently grew thanks to time at home during the pandemic. Like many of us, COVID has changed this confessor’s carrying habits, which can be attributed to leaving the house with less and more time spent keeping bags clean. However, COVID also helped catapult this handbag lover deep into H territory, and this collector recently added six Hermès bags to her collection.
Despite her love for handbags and Hermès in particular, this confessor is down to earth and self-aware, choosing to purchase what bags work for her and not giving in to societal pressures or what’s trendy. Though this confessor has difficulty parting ways with her bags, she’s not afraid of shopping pre-loved for great deals. Read the full CC now, and don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Bay Area
Occupation: Product Manager
Household Income: $650,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 15
What bags are in your collection?
- Hermès Birkin 30
- Hermès Bolide 35
- Hermès Evelyne 16
- Hermès Garden Party 36
- Hermès Herbag 31
- Hermès Picotin 18 and 22
- Chanel Classic Flap (mini and medium)
- Chanel Classic WOC
- Fendi Baguette
- Mulberry Alexa
- Mulberry Bayswater
- Proenza Schouler PS1
- Louis Vuitton Speedy
How much is your collection worth? $40,000 based on the amount I paid for them, I suspect they are worth more now.
What is your most expensive bag? My Hermès Birkin which was a gift for myself after I got a promotion at work.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Hermès is my drug of choice. I really can’t shop at any other brands after switching to Hermès. It felt so surreal to me when I finally got offered my Birkin – I have dreamt of owning one since I was a teenager. Still pinching myself sometimes about having my Holy Grail bag 🙂
I’m really wishing to add a Kelly to my collection next!
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? 16. I was in Paris for an exchange. My parents gave me spending money which I used towards buying my first Louis Vuitton bag and SLG.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? The Hermès Kelly. Then I will put myself on ban island for quite sometime (maybe until 40 or next promotion?)
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Louis Vuitton Speedy was the first bag that I bought with my own hard-earned money. I felt so proud walking into the boutique and paying for it all by myself. Even though I don’t use the bag anymore, I just can’t get rid of this bag. I’ll always cherish it.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes, definitely. Because I am Asian, I automatically get lumped into a category of “rich asian” if I use certain bags. I get a whole other level of service when I use my designer bags as opposed to when I carry a non-designer bag.
I do not carry any of my bags to work or family functions as I do not want people gossiping about what I do with my money. I will use my bags on vacations and while running errands where I don’t have to interact with too many people I know.
Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? Yes, right now I am sticking to one or two bags max. I don’t rotate my bags as much just because I don’t want to get them dirty and have to clean them afterwards. I’ve also stuck with my smaller bags so that I only carry my essentials (the Evelyne or Picotin are great for this purpose)!
How often do you buy new bags? Depends on my mood. I can buy 3 bags in a month or go 5 years without buying one.
Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? I have to admit that COVID was what spearheaded my luxury buying obsession. During lockdown I binge watched way too many luxury handbag videos and decided it was the time that I needed to treat myself to more bags. And lo and behold I ended up buying about 6 new Hermès bags in the span of one year. It was an exceptional case but once I get my Kelly, I don’t plan to buy any more bags for a long time.
Which stores do you frequent the most? I think you can guess 😛
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes, if I can find a good deal on a bag from the second-hand market, then that is where I go first. With Hermès bags it usually doesn’t make a lot of sense to go the second-hand route since resellers charge a premium for highly sought-after bags. Most of my non-Hermès bags have been purchased pre-loved besides my Speedy and PS1.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Not really, though I should. I’ve sold a bag here and there, but I have a hard time getting rid of bags. They all hold so much sentimental value for me!
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No, not really. I buy bags to please myself.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Yes, there are several bags that I can resell for more than I paid for (i.e. Chanel and Hermès). But I don’t look at investment value when purchasing a bag, but rather how much happiness it’ll bring me.
Who influences your buying decisions? YouTube luxury community, Instagram, the PurseForum. Sometimes I don’t realize I “need” a bag until I see it on another influencer and I’m like damn, I want it now. Happened to me so many times! I love seeing how others style their bags and it makes me realize that I can pull them off too.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Unbelievably so! I have the most wonderful SA at Hermès and thanks to her I’ve been able to get my dream bag. She is working hard to get me my next bag too 🙂 Just love working with her!
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I don’t really enjoy shopping because the entire process is very tiring for me. I prefer online shopping and already picking out a few items. Then I’ll just go to the store to pick them up or order them to my house.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? On the contrary, I feel like I always receive superior service because of my Asian heritage. I was shocked at how nice the SAs were to me when I went shopping alone at the Louis Vuitton flagship store at age 16.
A few times I’ve received bad service in some stores and it’s usually when the SAs are really busy and I didn’t really plan to buy anything anyway.
Who pays for your bags? Mostly myself. My husband has gifted me a bag here and there.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No, however, I’m generally good at saving money and have a monthly budget which I stick to. Since I wasn’t able to travel in 2020, I put my money that would have otherwise been used for travels into bags.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No but one of my ex-boyfriend’s mom used to gift me counterfeits. I never used them! I was too ashamed.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No, he’s super supportive of my luxury obsessions. He’s also totally OK with me buying him Hermès ties that he’ll never wear just to meet my quotas, lol!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Hmm I guess using the law of attraction and manifesting my dream bag? Does that count?
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Yes, sometimes I can’t stop myself from buying a bag even though I know it’s a waste of money. I often buy bags that I don’t end up using. I tried to embrace minimalism and it’s helped a bit but I still wish I could buy every bag on my wishlist lol!
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Sailing, skiing, and horseback riding 🙂
Anything else you would like to include? Thanks for reading :)!
Editor’s note: today’s confessor preferred to remain anonymous, photos shown of the confessor’s listed bags are not her own.