In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a self-made tech guru who deeply loves all things Dior. While her collection does include some bags from the big H, her wide variety of Dior bags shows a true appreciation for the House of Dior. Not to mention, CC 158, sites Dior as a place to shop for RTW too. Her true commitment to the brand is ever apparent, and CC 158 even got invited to an exclusive Dior event last year. We’re definitely a bit jealous!
While this collector loves bags just like the rest of us and admits to working really hard to get to where she is today, CC 158 seems very down-to-earth when it comes to her attitude towards bags. Growing up, luxury was never discussed in this collector’s home, and she’s worked hard to get where she is today. Her motivation is admirable, as is her smart approach to bag-buying and only buying bags that she truly believes she will love and use for years to come. That being said, CC 158 doesn’t sell bags to make a profit; rather, she only parts with handbags if they feel dated and doesn’t feel that her bags are true investments.
Read the full CC now, and don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Industry: Software & Technology
Household Income: $1,200,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 16
What bags are in your collection?
- Hermès Birkin 35
- Hermès Kelly 40 – Vintage from 1987, was recently completely restored by Hermès Spa
- Hermès Garden Party
- Dior Lady Art #6 Limited Ed – Artist Manal Al Dowayan
- Large Classic Lady Dior
- 4 Dior Book Totes
- 3 Lady D-Lite Toile De Jouy – various seasons
How much is your collection worth? $140,000
What is your most expensive bag? Lady Dior Art #6 – $18,000
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? My vintage Hermès Kelly 40 has travelled the world with me. In recent years, my Toile de Jouy Dior book totes have been favorites, those totes can carry heaps of stuff. I’ve used them as moving bags every time I’ve moved apartments. You don’t want to know the things I have moved in them lol.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I bought my first designer bag when I was 22, it was a Gucci denim tote which I still have! The tote was on sale at the boutique, back in those days Gucci still had 40% sales. I remember I didn’t have enough to buy the bag after sale. It was $700, and all I had in my account was about $400. My sister was at the boutique with me, she suddenly walked off as I was holding the bag and came back with $300 cash to pay for that bag. The Gucci tote stayed hidden in my closet for at least 4 months, this was my designer first bag and I couldn’t bring myself to use it for months haha. Good old times!
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Birkin 32 HAC in Bleu Nuit
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My first Birkin 35 in Gris Etain and rose gold hardware. Through my 20s and 30s, I told myself I would buy a Birkin when I could truly afford one and I could comfortably use it as an everyday bag. When I got that special call from the boutique 2 years ago, I felt I was at the right place in my life. I didn’t have to save or juggle my finances to buy that Birkin. Hubby and I walked in casually, purchased the Birkin and walked out of the store. That bag marked a phase in my life where I knew I was ready for this bag, just as the bag was ready for me.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? I don’t think my bag changes people’s perception of me. I run a tech start-up and am always dressed in business casual attire – blazer, jeans and sneakers. My husband and I generally get good service everywhere we go. To provide some perspective – I got fantastic service over the phone when I first called my local Hermès store asking to come in for some repairs and a shopping appointment, they didn’t even know me at the time. Same with YSL and Dior, I’ve built some good SA relationships that have all started over the phone. So I don’t think a bag matters, but your mindset and confidence does!
Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? Not much, I still went to the office most days during Covid, my team worked remotely and I was the only one there at that time. I always tend to get bigger bags – Birkin 35, Dior Book Totes, Large Lady Dior, bags that can carry more than my wallet and keys. I carry my breakfast in my bag and healthy snacks for busy days where I wont be able take lunch breaks.
How often do you buy new bags? If I see a bag I really like, I will buy it. That doesn’t happen often and its usually unplanned. If I don’t see a bag I really like, I could easily go a whole year without buying one. In 2022 I bought two bags to date, and maybe the Birkin HAC at the end of the year.
Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? Covid has definitely changed my shopping habits. I worked on downsizing my closet to create a more minimalistic wardrobe, my closet has been downsized to 25% of what I had back in 2020. Almost all my clothes now are from Dior or Hermès as they suit my current style and personality. I buy less, choose well and make it last.
Which stores do you frequent the most? Dior and Hermès.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes! I have a few pre-owned bags from Fashionphile.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I rarely sell my bags unless they are dated and I know I wont be using them. During Covid, I learnt how to successfully day trade stocks and have been financing all my bag purchases with my day trading profits since 2020.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No, most of my friends are more inclined to buy a house or an apartment over handbags.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? No I don’t, I read an interesting article on Bloomberg that mentioned ‘for a handbag to be considered a true investment, it must be in pristine condition during the sale’. My handbags are an extension of my lifestyle and my personality – they travel with me, they party with me, they all live my life, so mine are definitely not investment products. Good investments include buying blue chip stocks and learning to day trade stocks, crypto trading – all of which have comfortably funded my handbag purses in the past.
Who influences your buying decisions? My husband. He is a classy British man and he always talks me out of a bad bag purchase lol.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Yes SA relationships are always a blessing as they locate and bring over hard to find items. Here’s a relationship tip 😉 make sure you build strong relationships not just with your SA but also with several members at the boutique – it could be the store manager, boutique director etc. This will help in situations where your SA leaves the store, as everyone in store now knows you’re a valued client and will want to keep that relationship with you.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? In my 20s I’d look back and say I had a shopping addiction lol! Since my late 30s, I’ve associated my purchases with an experience. I recently bought a Dior D-lite bag as Dior invited me to NYC for a private dinner, that bag always reminds me of the unexpected invite and how hubby and I impulsively packed our bags and flew out to NYC for a one evening dinner lol. Another bag purchase was in time for one of the F1 Grand Prix races we were attending with our work team.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? I have never received inferior service at a store or boutique. I worked in investment banking for 14 years where I had my fair share of gender and ethical discrimination working at the big boy’s club. I’ve learnt from my past experience that with the right mindset and leadership skills, you can get anyone to respect you
Who pays for your bags? Me.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Not specifically for bags, but we do have a joint discretionary budget available if we need it.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No I have not. My mom always says ‘only buy what you can afford’. I stuck with that principle and even today only buy what I can afford with my disposable income.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? My hubby is an executive recruiter and he analyzes people for a living, it’s wasted effort trying to hide anything from him including my bag purchases. Instead, I take him to the boutique with me haha.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Nothing. I’ve done many crazy things in life and I’ve carried the craziest things in my designer bags but haven’t done anything extraordinary to afford a bag.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No, I dont think I’ve had a shopping addiction and more recently with my minimalist approach I’ve been even more curated with my luxury purchases.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Buying apartments in different cities.
Anything else you would like to include? This is just my perspective so you may or may not relate. I’ve always loved fashion and luxury, growing up I came from a lovely middle income family where luxury wasn’t something we could afford. My friends would put themselves into debt buying designer bags in our 20s, I chose the long road, struggled and professionally worked my way up. I started my own tech business at 35 and now finally have an income that can sufficiently fund any bag purchase and also the lifestyle where these bags fit right in.
Achieving big life goals is literally a game, it involves knowledge, strategy, foresight, patience and discipline. Once you get good at it, your bags and luxury items will become a by-product of your overall success.