In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a candid confessor hailing from a very small town down south. This handbag lover has been collecting handbags ever since he was gifted a vintage Gucci Document Case that once belonged to his grandmother (so sweet!). Of course, that piece remains an integral part of his collection and is a very sentimental piece.

Though this confessor has amassed a very enviable collection of rare Louis Vuitton and Hermès bags, he seems to be down-to-earth and wise with his purchases. Admitting to once feeling like he struggled with a shopping addiction that actually led to the diagnosis of a mental illness, we’re thankful that CC 135 shared his story with us to help others know they aren’t alone. Read the full CC below and take a look at some of the stunning bags from CC 135’s collection. Don’t forget to submit your own too!

Submit Your Own Bag Story

The Basics

Age: 39
Gender Identity: Male-ish
Location: The South
Occupation: Creative Partner
Industry: Bath Fixtures (Sink Design)
Salary: $90,000
Household Income: $950,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? No

How many bags do you own? 30

What bags are in your collection?

How much is your collection worth? 30k(ish?)

What is your most expensive bag? Hermès Birkin 40

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? The most important piece is the Vintage Gucci document case. It was my grandmother’s. She was an artist with a fantastic eye and great taste.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? If we’re talking gifted, it was the Gucci document case that my grandmother gave me in high school. If we’re talking purchased, it was a weird Prada wristlet in felt with little patent leaves on it from around 2002. I really kinda wish I still had that bag…

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? At this point I am on the hunt for the beggars bag from Louis Vuitton’s 2002 collaboration with Julie Verhoeven. That Conte de Fees collection lives rent free in my brain.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? In addition to the Gucci bag referenced above, I’d have to say the Birkin. My husband and I started a small boutique plumbing fixtures company from literally nothing and it sorta blew up. The Birkin was definitely symbolic (even if it was second-hand).

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes but probably not the way it does for most other CC entries. I’m a man in a *very* small town in Louisiana and I carry purses. There was one instance where I was called the anti-gay F word and after that, I started taking boxing lessons. Two years (and many matches later) I have a pretty right hook to match my pretty face.

Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? Not really. My world is pretty small and I’ve kinda always worked in an isolated office.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Now only about three times a year or so.

Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? Weirdly it hasn’t. I live in a town of 12,000, so I’ve always shopped online.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Saks and Louis Vuitton in New Orleans, The RealReal, Vestaire online.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Almost only buy second hand and I use the above as well as eBay authenticated.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Not really.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Definitely not.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? You know I use to, but, like are they really? I mean, I’m not great at babying my bags. Divorcing the idea of bags as investments has really helped me to enjoy them more tbh.

Who influences your buying decisions? Considering none of my friends know anything about luxury goods, I’d say all the influence comes from my own brain.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? That’s a hard no.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I have what I like to call a hungry eye. In addition to my career in design, I’m also a painter. So my eye is always seeking the next thing that excites and delights! Things that seem to have no relation to each other can lead to really inspired designs.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Not really. I generally get compliments on my style. (Is that gross to say? I don’t mean it in a braggy way.)

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Mostly my husband.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Not really. I set aside money for bag purchases when we travel

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? I know the answer is supposed to be an emphatic NO. Because we’ve all read Deluxe by Dana Thomas, etc etc. HOWEVER. When I was in my 20’s I did purchase a fake Balenciaga City bag. Do I judge my younger self? Yes. But at the time, I was feeling myself.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I don’t hide them. I maaaaay stretch the truth on prices. Like my Golden Goose sneakers, for example. I don’t feel great about how much I paid for them. Like I’m not proud of paying that much for “artisanal distressing”. But I did. And my husband thinks they cost exactly 1/3 of what they did.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? See below

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Here’s the reason I wanted to do the CC. There was a post recently about shopping addiction and there were some pretty strong opinions about what kind of person a shopping addict is. If I’d have been asked a year ago if I had a shopping addiction, I would have said yes, because it felt that way. However, a Bipolar II diagnosis (part of which includes increasingly manic shopping) changed my thoughts on that. With BPII, there was this high with purchase (and the following texts to friends showing the new thing) that was always followed by a crushing regret. I *did* really embarrassing things to cover the purchases and hide them from my family. These things would be considered addictive behavior.

But it was all self-medication. The shopping was the symptom, not the cause if that makes sense?

Since finding a good psychiatrist (and pharmaceutical cocktail) that *need* to acquire has mostly gone away and I feel like a happier, more whole person. So if there is anyone out there that sees themselves above, I’d like to tell you that it’s not uncommon and you aren’t alone. 🙂

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Fitness. I have a trainer for boxing, tennis, and several gym memberships. Although expensive, it’s still a much cheaper endorphin rush than hitting “Complete Purchase” at Net-a-Porter.

Anything else you would like to include? Enjoy your purchases. Just always keep an eye on the motivation.

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CC135
CC135
11 months ago

Hello, Hello!
CC 135 here (WOW, that makes me sound like a robot). Just wanted to say that your comments made my day. Thank y’all for the kinda word! It was really wonderful to share all of this. 🙂

Tai
Tai
11 months ago

Love. Love you, CC 135. I also have bipolar II and having the diagnosis helps identify the manic and depressive cycles.

wishing we could go for brunch and that I could get an up close and personal with the Richard Prince 😍.

Congrats on your success!

Tiffany
Tiffany
11 months ago

Love this post and the confessor’s willingness to share their experience with the mental health component that can sometimes accompany our habits. Something I can relate to. Thank you 🙂

Ann
Ann
11 months ago

Truth+No bullshit=Respect!

susmita gupta
susmita gupta
11 months ago

love this post, the CC135 is the boldest and honest.

J B
J B
11 months ago

The bags are great…the last one I’m like what? Great CC.

CC135
CC135
11 months ago
Reply to  J B

Isn’t it awesome? It’s a Dutch designer, Heather van Eeghan. I found it on my honeymoon and still love it to this day.

Ritu Baral
Ritu Baral
11 months ago
Reply to  CC135

How do you like the quality of the HvE? I’ve spent HOURS in her shops in Amsterdam, ADORE her designs, but I live my live in beige (figuratively) and the bright colors have thrown me enough to walk out 4x empty handed, but with later savers remorse. (Could you frame the response comparing the quality vs your HACs? TYvm!)

Also this is the best CC yet.

CC135
CC135
11 months ago
Reply to  Ritu Baral

Hi Ritu!
Thank you so much for the kind words. The quality of the HvE is honestly top notch. Leather and stitching are impeccable and I’ve had zero color loss, despite the intense pigment. As I mentioned in the CC, I don’t baby my bags and the HvE accordion bag is now five years old. It’s been overstuffed and lugged all over the world and still looks incredible. Where it differs from, say, an Hermes bag are the small details inside. The interior is a simple cotton versus a chèvre. The pockets are sorta useless.
But where it occasionally lacks in functionality, it more than makes up for in wow factor. Every time I carry her out, people stop me to gush. It’s a stunner! Hopefully this helps. 🙂

Marcy697
Marcy697
11 months ago

Love this so much!! Pics are beautiful of the bags and settings as well as great stories of overcoming challenges with others and self.

Olivia P.
Olivia P.
11 months ago

I always look forward to CC, but this has been my favorite ever. I really enjoyed CC135’s voice and authenticity. You get a feel for a very real person behind their words. I’m fascinated by the collection as the bags seem to be either very classic, streamlined, and quietly luxurious or really fun, quirky and unique. I would love to see how CC135 styles their bags. So many good pics and what a fun photoshoot!

Sammy
Sammy
11 months ago

CC135, easily top 5 best and genuine stories.

dutchie
dutchie
11 months ago

love you. thanks for this! I always love the CCs, but this might be my favorite ever.

I totally agree you about what shopping (or other behaviors we use in similar ways) can tell us about our underlying mental health.

Claire
Claire
11 months ago

Loved this. CC has amazing taste in bags. What bag is the elephant one?

CC135
CC135
11 months ago
Reply to  Claire

Hey! They elephant bag is an Hermes Plume that I bought from Heritage Auctions last year. It was one of a few hand painted Hermes bags on offer. This was the one within my budget.
Cheers!

A Prada Holiday