In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a Registered Nurse from Texas who has been collecting bags since her late twenties. While she started off dipping her toe in the handbag pond with a Louis Vuitton Monogram bag, eventually, she expanded into Hermès. CC 172 began her Hermès journey as a walk-in client with the purchase of a Garden Party, and from there, she began exploring the world of Birkins and Kellys too!
During the pandemic, after many hours of overtime, CC 172 was able to buy a lot of the Hermès bags she currently owns, and while she doesn’t dream of having a massive collection of bags, this collector does admit that the ones she lusts after are quite pricey. Over the years, CC 172 has been able to narrow down her favorite kind of bags and has realized that crossbody bags are quite important to her. Additionally, this handbag lover sold a Kelly bag in sellier leather after realizing this type of leather didn’t work for her and would like to purchase a retourne Kelly 25 next.
Read the full CC below, and don’t forget to submit your own.
Gender Identity: Female
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Household Income: $130,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No
How many bags do you own? 8
What bags are in your collection?
- Hermès Birkin 30
- Hermès Picotin 18
- Hermès Birkin 25
- Hermès Garden Party 36
- Chanel Classic Flap Med/Large
- Dior Saddle
- Fendi Mini Peekaboo
- Carolina Crossbody
- Gucci Super Mini Dionysus
- LV Toiletry Pouch in Damier Azur
- LV Mini Pochette in Monogram Canvas
- LV Mini Key Cles in Monogram Empreinte
- Hermès Bearn Card Holder
- Chanel Classic Flap Card Halder
How much is your collection worth? $47,000 not including SLGs
What is your most expensive bag? Hermès Birkin 30. I never anticipated spending that much on a bag at the time.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I never realized I would be using my Hermès Garden Party 36 so much. It is so understated that I use it at a lot of work conferences and in-person meetings. I also use it when traveling through the airport. The negonda leather can withstand a lot of bumps and friction. It was my first Hermès bag; as a walk-in impulse buy, and I never knew the brand at all at that time. The sales associate willingly showed me a brand new one from their storage, but I ended up buying a black one, which was delivered to my home. Another bag worth mentioning is my Gucci Super Mini Dionysus. I can’t begin to say how elegant this bag looks as a clutch bag during black tie events and weddings.
I prioritize cost per wear, quality, and colorways that would fit my wardrobe. That’s why my bags are generally neutral or pop-neutral in color.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I got my first designer bag in my late 20s. It was an LV Eva in monogram canvas. I couldn’t afford any designer bags before because I was from a third-world country. After I immigrated to the US, started earning money, and worked my way up to where I am now, I was able to curate my collection with quality luxury pieces. I’ve bought several other brand-new and vintage pieces that I have sold.
Notably, some of them were Chanel 2.55, mini 2.55 and a vanity case, Hermès Kelly 28 sellier and a Hac a dos PM, Prada Galleria, Dior Diorama vintage python, YSL Mini Sac du Jour and an LV Turenne PM.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Hermès Kelly 25 in retourne in a green or brownish-red colorway (preferably in lizard or ostrich). I used to own a Hermès Kelly 28 sellier and absolutely hated how stiff it was. It deformed eventually. I ended up selling it.
I would also like to own a Moynat Gabrielle clutch in exotic lizard, a Chanel Cassic single Flap mini in beige, a Hermès Kelly Pochette in exotic leather, a Lady Dior My ABC Dior, and maybe a Hermès Kelly 32 retourne in togo leather after I’ve acquired the piecs in my priority list.
My ultimate dream bag would be a Hermès Kelly 25 retourne bag in full crocodile leather. I won’t be able to afford it, though. I have to split my budget between bags, mortgage, retirement, fine jewelry, and designer footwear. I also plan to pursue a Master’s degree this year and work on some home improvements. I have to be mindful of my spending.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? None
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Not quite significantly. I only use high-ticket bags on appropriate occasions. I don’t try to attract attention from other people or use the bag to advertise my wealth.
Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? No. I just wish I had more crossbody bags, and I’m working on it. I realized I’m more of a crossbody girl.
How often do you buy new bags? 2-3x a year.
Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? No. I actually got to buy my Hermès bags during the pandemic. I had more money to spend because I earned more money from working overtime during the pandemic.
Which stores do you frequent the most? I explore via official websites and go to a store if I have a high intention of buying. I frequent Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Hermès.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I used to buy from Tradesy.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Yes, I do, especially when I buy Hermès bags. Sadly, I’ve already sold all that I possibly can let go at this point.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No. I personally just want to build a collection of items that I can grab a bag suitable for different occasions in my life. Too much stuff gives me a headache and stress. I only keep what I want and will use.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? No. If I ever have to sell my Hermès bags, the resellers will just pay me out the same amount that I paid for them, nothing more.
Who influences your buying decisions? Celebrities and social media influencers. I unfollow those influencers that are unrealistic with their spending habits.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? For Hermès, yes. She is very nice. I am not very pushy, though. I know she has a lot of other customers and those who spend a lot of high-ticket items through her, including RTW and fine jewelry. I just hope she won’t retire soon.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I love curating my collection and looking at them on my glass curio cabinet. They give me a sense of accomplishment as a single working girl. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a shopaholic because I pause buying when I’m still trying to pay off a credit card or a home improvement project.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? No, I have not. I present myself in a professional manner. I generally research a product or brand now before going to a store. It makes me appear more knowledgeable and easier to talk to.
Who pays for your bags? Just myself.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? If there is something I really, really want. Eye on the prize and price.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? N/A.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Worked 6 12-hr shifts in a week. Worked one full time and one PRN job. That’s why I’m still single at 38, lol.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Maybe. The only problem is, the bags that I want are very expensive. I don’t want a lot of bags, just a few, but very expensive. Sadly.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions?
- Fine jewelry with diamonds (BVLGARI)
- Fine dining and food deliveries
- Manolo Blahnik footwear
Anything else you would like to include? Don’t let social media set unrealistic expectations in your mind. Do your own thing and buy only bags that excite you. Unfollow them if they make you feel inadequate.