Closet Confessionals

CC 181: The World Traveler

"Japan has a lot of second-hand stores and there is no way you can resist"

In today’s installment, we meet a world traveler who is currently living in Japan. The owner of an impressive 80 or so bags, CC 181, began collecting bags when she was 22 years old. Back then, CC 181 was in Dubai and snagged a Louis Vuitton Pochette in Epi Leather — a true classic! Since that very first Louis Vuitton Bag, CC 181 is now the proud owner of Birkins, Kellys, and more! This collector loves to travel and states that some of her most special pieces were purchased in Paris.

While CC 181 does admit to sometimes buying too many bags a year, she also states that she’s unafraid to sell off bags that she is no longer using. While she has her sights set on a Constance or a Mini Kelly, this collector also has grown quite fond of vintage bags, as she believes that the quality is better than what’s being produced today. She shares that Japan is a great place for second-hand shopping…brb booking a flight!

Read the full CC now, and don’t forget to submit your own.


The Basics

Age: 44
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Japan
Occupation: Special Event & Entertainment
Industry: Govt. Employee
Salary: $47,000
Household Income: $120,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? About 80

What bags are in your collection?

CC 181 Bags 1

How much is your collection worth? Not sure.

What is your most expensive bag? Birkin 35 so far.

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I think it’s my Birkin 35, it was my first Birkin. I got it in Japan. My Garden Party I got it in Paris, and my Lady Dior I got in Paris in 2018.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? My first luxury designer bag was a Louis Vuitton Pochette in Epi leather. I got it in Dubai when I was 22 years old.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Mini Kelly in Sakura or Constance, but I feel like it’s so hard to attain.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? All the handbags that my husband gifted me, especially the very first one, Louis Vuitton Cherry Blossom Papillon.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes, every time I shop wearing my Birkin Bag. Sales associates are always very helpful, offering advice even when I just used regular bags such as Ferragamo, etc.

Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? Not that much, but I am always careful when I use my bags and wipe them after every use.

CC 181 Bags 4
CC 181 Bags 2

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? More than I should, 4 or so in a year.

Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? Not at all, I think I bought more bags into the pandemic without realizing it out of boredom staying at home. I got my Hermès Picotin and LV Twist.

Which stores do you frequent the most? I don’t have a particular store, but I usually go to Hermès & Louis Vuitton in Takashimaya in Yokohama, Japan, since it’s inside the mall. I think there are not a lot of tourists going there.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Japan has a lot of second-hand stores and there is no way you can resist them since they are in very good condition.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Yes, if I feel that I don’t use it often.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Yes, but so far, I’m looking for more vintage bags. I think they’re more durable than the newer bags brands release these days.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Yes, I hope so. If I really needed fast cash I can sell.

Who influences your buying decisions? I check a lot of social media outlets to see what is currently trending and I go from there if I like it or love it.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not in particular, since I move countriesries and locations every 3-6 years.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I enjoy looking around and also retail therapy whenever my husband leaves for a few months.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? In Japan, it’s rare they’re customer service is really good across the board, but in other countries, Like US/Dubai, they will not even recognize me as Asian/Filipino, they think I can’t afford anything in the store.

Alma CC 181 1
CC 181 Bags 3

The Money

Who pays for your bags? I think it’s half and half, my husband often buys me if there are occasions like anniversaries, birthdays, or Mother’s Day. I also often buy something for myself.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Yes and No. If it’s a really expensive bag, I set aside money or I ask my husband to contribute or pay half of it.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Yes, I did once in New York I was surprised how many people selling in the streets out of curiosity
I bought a Le Boy Chanel. It was getting popular during that time, but I never use it till now.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Yes, but then I will tell him later.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I was on the bus and looking through my feed, saw this bag, but I can’t go there to purchase it, and they needed a deposit right away. I had to take a loan to buy it.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Yes, I think I always like a bag whenever I see a new one. I try to control my shopping or buying a new bag now.

CC 181 Bags 5
CC 181 Bags 6

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Not really, I just like going new places.

Anything else you would like to include? I suggest that if they really like the bag, just wait for it until you’re able to purchase it.

CC 181 Bags 7


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