In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a collector in her mid-thirties hailing from the San Fran Bay Area. A lover of handbags since she was a high schooler saving all of her pennies just to afford a handbag, CC 139 has now amassed an impressive collection of Chanel bags, with pieces from Prada, Fendi, and Loewe thrown in there too. CC 139 is a fellow tPF’er, who finds community in reading these confessionals.
Throughout her collecting journey, CC 139 has found her collection changing with her many stages of life. These days, she’s a mom to an infant, and though a tote bag is a necessity with the little one in tow, this confessor also finds herself reaching for smaller bags since COVID began. A down-to-earth confessor with a great attitude, read the full confessional below with pics from CC 139’s collection too. Don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Female
Location: San Francisco, CA
Industry: Financial Services
Household Income: $1,200,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 17
What bags are in your collection?
- Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap
- Chanel Medium Classic Flap
- Chanel Medium Boy
- Chanel North-South Boy
- Chanel 19 Large
- Chanel 31 Shopping Tote
- Chanel Deauville Tote
- Vintage Chanel CC Chevron Box Bag
- Chanel Mini 2.55
- Chanel Top Handle Coin Purse(does this count as a bag, I use it as one!)
- Small Gucci Marmont
- Loewe Pink Elephant
- Fendi Touch Bag
- Prada Re-edition 2005 Nylon
- Bottega Padded Cassette
- Celine Nano Luggage Tote
- Wandler Hortensia
- Vintage Gucci Shoulder Bag (just purchased from the Vault!)
How much is your collection worth? Not sure, resale value is so different from cost right?
What is your most expensive bag? I spent the most on the Vintage Chanel CC Chevron Box Bag – although in terms of resale value not sure I could get the same amount today.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? It’s hard to pick a favorite child, isn’t it? Right now I feel like I use my Chanel 19 a lot given it’s a denim fabric and feels more relaxed for day-to-day wear, I also love the Prada re-edition it is made from recycled ocean plastic and it’s waterproof so great for rainy days! I use the Deauville tote as a baby bag as I currently have a 8-month-old so I guess in that regard it is probably my favorite as I can lug all my crap around in it!
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? Does Kate Spade count? I was 17 or 18 and used a lot of my summer job money to purchase one of those bright pink bucket bags! I also had a Coach wristlet I got around then that I wore EVERYWHERE, and it was destroyed by the time I was done with it!
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? A lot of them! I love reading CC’s…makes me feel less like a crazy person and I can relate in some way to all of them. There are so many on my list, I envy all the women who have said they have found purse peace/nearing it! I have been thinking about a Hermès Kelly Sellier in 28 or 32…I would like the mini Kelly, but I refuse to pay the crazy prices on the resale market, and I just don’t think I will be offered it anytime soon. But tbh, paying such a high price for a bag like that is sort of off-putting, I often ask myself if this purchase would be a flex, or if I truly love the bag itself, thus I have yet to pull the plug. I remember when the Saddle bag was huge when I was in high school, and always loved that, but have yet to pull the plug on that one as well. I am also on the list to purchase that highly controversial Chanel Heart bag from Spring-Summer 2022, lol! I also am dying to get a Loewe Flamenco bag in one of the smaller sizes! I keep buying other stuff so have been too distracted thus far.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Chanel boy bag was my first Chanel purchase in my mid-20s! I had purchased other expensive designer bags before then, but my dream since I was in high school was always to buy a Chanel! So I will forever treasure this bag, and this was before all the crazy price increases…I remember when I was in high school a flap bag retailed for around $1,500 this was back in 2003-2004 and thinking I would never be able to afford that, but lusting after it! Little did I know I should have pooled all my summer job funds there instead of on Coach or Kate Spade, ha!
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Eh, not sure. I live in the bay area where most people have the same uniform. I think when I travel to certain cities it definitely does, but not as much around where we live.
Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? I work from home more now, so they definitely don’t get out as much. Besides the Chanel tote, I definitely find myself reaching for smaller bags when I run errands now, although I still like to have a mix of small and larger bags!
How often do you buy new bags? Oh gosh…it really depends on how much I have been spending on other stuff like clothes and shoes, etc. This year I have bought 4. I am usually pretty good about consigning stuff I don’t use though, or giving my bags away I no longer use to my sister or cousin, etc.
Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? Kind of…I would say initially I felt like I had to spend less given the future was so uncertain. But then I got pregnant and was at home and bored not being able to see family and friends, and so I think I ended up spending more than normal, ek! I still love luxury and value high-end pieces, given I feel that the more you spend on something you value it more and take more care of it…also no one is going to throw away a Chanel bag if you donate it or consign it, etc., it’s way more sustainable than buying something made from plastic or from a fast-fashion house! I totally understand that not everyone can afford to buy luxury goods, but I do feel like luxury goods should be for everyone, I mean I am a living example of not having a ton when I was younger, saving all my money to have one bag, versus a huge collection!
Which stores do you frequent the most? Neiman Marcus, Net-a-porter, The RealReal and Instagram sellers. Parisian Sweet has an amazing collection of Vintage Chanel via Instagram – check out if you’re ever looking (@parisian_sweet), my sister turned me on to him and I love watching his stories, he has great information as well and is very entertaining!
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I do! I just bought a vintage Gucci bag on the Vault (Gucci’s new experimental store) they refurbish their bags, etc. I like Parisian Sweet as well (see above), I like to browse Fashionphile as well although have yet to purchase a bag from there but I definitely plan to in the future. Most of my bags come through my SA relationship at Neiman’s who I consider a friend as well!
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I definitely have in the past! Although I sold a Chanel Filigree Vanity Case which I regret! I hadn’t used it in a year, but I miss her, so now I am much more careful about selling bags!
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Hmmm…I am not sure if I feel societal pressure, but I definitely succumb to impulse buying. The Fendi bag I bought a few months ago which has yet to make an appearance was 100% an impulse buy! I don’t care for trends as much as I do beautiful items that will stand the test of time…I feel for the most part trends are wasteful financially, and also bad for the environment, although I definitely was that way when I was younger I think.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Ha this is a loaded question. I think they can be, but it depends on which bags you are buying. Vintage bags have definitely increased a lot more than new bags, how can you say that’s not an investment, ha! Chanel and Hermès have good resale value IMO. Chanel bags I have resold on the RealReal have sold for more than I have bought them for, it’s just you might have to hold on them to for a while. I guess I don’t buy them as investments, but I feel good about them because it’s not like there is no residual value if you get sick of them. Much better than buying a new car!
Who influences your buying decisions? Hmmm…I think I like what I like at this point. I like to watch the runway shows and see if there are cute bags, etc., also per some of the stuff mentioned above, I like to see what the vintage instagram sellers get as well! I am not influenced by celebrities or influencers to buy bags although it’s fun to see what they wear.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? hahaha. My husband would say yes! My SA at Neiman’s (she used to work for Chanel) has been hugely instrumental in me spending more money on shopping in general. I never would have ever thought I would buy RTW items of clothing because honestly, they are insanely overpriced. However she has definitely convinced me it’s better to buy less things and spend more (cost per wear thing), so to that end I definitely spend WAY more money on clothing than I ever would have thought, but my closet has much less items of clothes than most peoples, etc.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I roll my eyes whenever I meet someone (man or woman I have heard it from both), make judgmental comments on people who care about clothes or how they dress or how much people spend on handbags. We are all creative beings, and dressing ourselves is an expression of who we are as individuals, and an outfit can change the way we feel about ourselves or our outlook on life. Dressing ourselves is a form of art and expression beyond just acquiring something new. Cheers to all the women who write and are on this blog sharing their experiences and stories and love of handbags…it’s not as reductive as a dollar spent! To that end I can say I have definitely been a shopaholic of sorts at certain points in my life, hahahaha. I’ve never gone crazy though in terms of going into debt, etc., but for sure I would say I do the retail therapy thing!
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? When I was 17 I went into BCBG looking for a prom dress and the rude person working the store wouldn’t give me the time of day, until my mom came back with me! I am pretty sure I have been looked over before too in my earlier 20s at certain stores, but doesn’t really happen now probably due to my age!
Who pays for your bags? Me, sometimes my husband as gifts, although since we are married I consider it the same pool!
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Eh not really. I just make sure I don’t go crazy…the great thing about buying designer stuff too is that there is almost always residual value, so if I am feeling really guilty I can just consign a bunch of clothes or other stuff to get a new bag! I actually think buying designer stuff for certain brands is also like buying a used car, where once the initial depreciation comes off you can actually make a little bit of money if you resell later on too!
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No, I have come across counterfeits but can always tell the craftsmanship and quality is not as nice.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No, although if he sees something new and makes a comment sometimes I will say it’s not new he just didn’t notice.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Used up all my summer job money as a teenager to buy bags!
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? I guess it depends on who you ask. In all seriousness I am in a very fortunate place financially, so I haven’t had to think about it much, but outside of the PF community, I am sure some people think I suffer from a shopping addiction.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Travel, Jewelry, RTW, Shoes! All the things we all love 🙂 I also am an artist and love filmmaking, and putting together productions is expensive with very small chance of making money!
Anything else you would like to include? Thank you to everyone who shares their stories on here! I love reading them, and thank you to all the writers and founders of this blog for building such a lovely community!