Closet Confessionals

CC 163: The Bag Lover Who Has Been Collecting for Over Three Decades

"I was 19 and bought my first Louis Vuitton...I think it was around $300."

In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a collector who has been collecting handbags for over three decades! CC 163 bought her first bag at just 19, a Louis Vuitton Bag that she recalls cost around $300 — what a time! Since then, this collector has explored a variety of brands, and today her collection contains around 30 bags spanning a variety of brands.

CC 163 states that her Goyards have become most important, and in the area that she lives in, they are a bit scarce, which definitely adds to the thrill! Unafraid of selling bags that no longer suit her, CC 163 also shops the resale market, and she’s currently eyeing a Chanel Crave bag in Olive Green (Santa, can you hears us?!).

Check out some snaps of CC 163’s collection and read the full CC now!


The Basics

Age: Late 50s
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Alexandria, Virginia (outside of Washington, DC)
Occupation: Chief Operating Officer
Industry: Non-profit association
Salary: $160,000
Household Income: $275,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? About 25-30

What bags are in your collection?

CC 163 1

How much is your collection worth? Around $30,000

What is your most expensive bag? The most I’ve spent for a bag was the Ferragamo Studio Tote, which I think is around $3,250.

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Clearly, the Goyards, although I’m getting a little tired of them. The older I get, the less conspicuous I want to be. Also, I don’t ever carry them when I’m wearing a print, so they are a bit limiting. I do love them so.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was 19 and bought my first Louis Vuitton at the Saks Fifth Avenue store on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, DC. I think it was around $300. I still have it, although it sorely needs a trip to the spa.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I would love another vintage Chanel Crumpled Crave from the 2014 collection, but I’m trying desperately not to pull the trigger. There’s currently one on Fashionphile’s site, in my favorite color – olive green.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? I had an Hermès Kelly that I gave away to my sister when she was going through a bad time. She has since passed away, and my niece has it now. I’m glad my sister was able to enjoy it, but not sure I’d have given it away if I had a do-over!

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes. I get lots of compliments on my Goyard as they are still relatively scarce here in the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia (northern Virginia). I would never go to the Galleria at Tysons without being well-dressed or accessorized and certainly wouldn’t step foot in Neiman Marcus without feeling put together. Sometimes I dress around my bags and jewelry. Actually, oftentimes!

Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? Not really. I work from home and did before Covid but I go into the office once a week. With such rampant crime these days, I do think twice about bag selection as I travel using our Metro system, which has had a big increase in crime since the beginning of the pandemic.

CC 163 2

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Too often – maybe 5-6 times per year?

Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? It’s made me realize how precious life is and that while I still plan for the future if something makes you happy and you can afford it, buy it.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Neiman Marcus, mainly. And Nordstrom, but only online. The service and quality of products have plummeted since the pandemic.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes! I’m a big fan of Fashionphile. I used to purchase handbags from The RealReal, too, but they have a “no returns” policy for their bags. Not good!

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? If I tire of something or have made a costly mistake, I will do so. And I sell to Fashionphile.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not at all.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Investments only in my happiness. Usually, it’s hard to get back what you paid for a bag, unless it’s Hermès or Chanel.

Who influences your buying decisions? No one. I don’t use or follow anyone on Instagram. At this age, I know myself very well, and my taste hasn’t changed too terribly much in a number of years.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Only my relationship with my SA at the Goyard boutique at Chicago’s Neiman Marcus. A big shout-out to Andy – he’s terrific.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I don’t actually enjoy the process of shopping. That’s just a means to an end.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Never, but I make sure I don’t go into stores looking like the dog’s dinner!

CC 163 3

The Money

Who pays for your bags? I do. Occasionally, I’ll tell my husband that I want a particular bag for a birthday or Christmas, and he’ll fund it. Or partially fund it!

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No, and I give my friends who do a hard time. You know who you are!

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Nothing I can think of.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Ah, yes. Fine jewelry. That’s really my obsession.


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