In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a London Lawyer who has undergone some serious life changes in the last few years. Rebuilding her life after heartbreak has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her life, and her love for bags and collecting has accompanied her through the journey of self-discovery.
CC 188 began collecting bags 20 years ago, with her very first designer bag being a Louis Vuitton Pochette Accessories, the It-bag of the early-aughts! Since then, she’s acquired a collection of around 30 bags, and while she does state that her dad had purchased bags for her in the past, these days, it’s all on her, and this collector keeps it to 2-3 bags per year.
A lawyer through and through, CC 188 is a very smart shopper, carefully thinking out each purchase and weighing the pros and cons. While her collection includes plenty of amazing bags from Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and more, this collector has her eyes on the prize – the big H!
Read the full CC now, and don’t forget to submit your own!
Your Age? 33
Your Gender Identity? Female
Where do you live? London, United Kingdom
What is your occupation? Lawyer
What industry do you work in? Finance
Your annual salary? $185,000
Total Household Income? $185,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No
Onto The Bags
How many bags do you own? 30+
What bags are in your collection?
- Fendi Peekaboo (grey with gold hardware)
- Goyard Saint Louis (light blue)
- Chanel Classic Clutch x2 (in black and beige)
- Chanel Classic Mini in pink tweed
- Chanel Boy Bag (medium, black with gold hardware)
- Chanel Classic Flap (small, black with silver hardware)
- Chanel Wallet on Chain (most used bag)
- Louis Vuitton Petite Malle (monogram)
- Hermès Jige Clutch (rose azalee)
- Hermès Jige Clutch (Zanzibar)
- Lady Dior x2 (nude matte & silver with champagne hardware)
- Bottega Veneta Knot Clutch (gold)
How much is your collection worth? Maybe £40,000
What is your most expensive bag?
Fendi Peekaboo £3200
Louis Vuitton Petite Malle £2900
Hermès Jige Clutches were only £2200-2500
Do you ever regret any of your bag purchases? If so, which ones and why? Yes, I think buying a lot of black bags over time made my closet very boring, so I have started to purchase timeless classics but in different colours such as blue and pink. I am looking to add some yellow in my closet and maybe one more Chanel tweed bag and a green Chanel wallet on chain.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I believe I was 13, and it was the Louis Vuitton Pochette after which I purchase the Louis Vuitton Twin Pochette.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I am about to buy the Hermès Picotin 18 but can’t decide between gold and etoupe. I am also looking to buy a Chanel tweed bag/wallet on chain but waiting for the perfect colour.
Do you have a ‘holy grail’ dream bag you’ve always wanted to own?
Hermès Mini Kelly in Jaune De Naples
Hermès Kelly 25 in Verte cypress
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value?
Louis Vuitton Petite Malle
Chanel Tweed Bag in pink
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Absolutely. I work at a law firm, so it is a bit conservative, so I don’t wear my most expensive items at work events or work trips. I save those for evenings out with friends.
How do you take care of your bags? I store them in their original dust bag and make sure to clean the closet every two weeks.
How often do you buy new bags? 2/3 times a year
Do you prefer shopping for bags online or in-store? Why? In store so I can actually look at how the item looks on me, especially since I am only 5’3”. Like a true lawyer, I like to conduct a full due diligence before purchasing an item. I look at the quality of the leather, size, weight, and practicality of the item. I also compare to similar items with different designers and make a note of the prices. I very rarely make an impulsive purchase. I usually think about it for a few weeks and curate outfits in my head before purchasing an item.
Which stores do you frequent the most?
Loewe (new favourite but love the oversize look)
Saint Laurent (best leather quality)
Theory and Vince for workwear
Recently looking to purchase a velvet blazer from the Row.
Have you ever returned a bag after purchasing it? Why did you make that decision? Never. As I said, I conduct a very thorough due diligence. I have never purchased a bag that I wasn’t absolutely in love with.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I have very recently (and for the first time ever) purchased a bag from Sotheby’s. It was the Chanel half-moon clutch in beige. I have been looking for it for years, and I know that it was discontinued, and it was really a miracle when I found it as I was only scrolling for pictures to update my wish list.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Yes, I had a Fendi Kan I that I did not use much, as I bought it just before covid. The suede on the inside wasn’t great either, as I truly despise suede (it might be a mild phobia). So I sold it to put £ towards the Fendi Peekaboo that I bought last year. I sold this on Bagista. I have also sold other bags on Farfetch second life.
Do you ever donate or gift your old bags? If so, to whom? I donated a number of handbags during covid. I was living in Karachi, Pakistan at the time, and so I sold every single bag that I had bought between 2007 and 2010.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No, I don’t give in to the facade. I prefer to purchase items that I will keep in my closet for years to come.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Absolutely. With the respective Chanel price increases, I think you can say that every Chanel purchase is an investment.
Do you follow the latest fashion trends when deciding on your next purchase, or do you prefer classic styles? I rarely follow fashion trends. For ex, the Bottega new clutch and Padded Cassette bag weren’t something that I purchased or even thought about. I never gave in to that trend. I prefer to buy classic pieces but with a pop of colour.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Depends, at Hermès. Yes! Anywhere else, not so much. If I want to purchase an item that is sold out or unavailable, I usually contact Personal Shoppers to source the items for me and buy through them instead. I think that a good relationship with Personal Shopper is excellent because they can source anything for you. Like my Amina Muaddi rainbow heels winter collection. I usually purchase big items from Harrods for the reward points, and when I do, I get in touch with the sales associate and ask them to keep the item on hold for me until I arrive in-store. This is quite helpful because I work long hours, and it is usually hard for me to go into the store during the week. I always leave a personalized thank you note for the sales associate who helped me with the purchase.
Do you enjoy shopping beyond just acquiring something new? Yes, I like to browse a lot and make a list of the items that I want before trying them on and making a note of my size. It really helps me narrow down the pieces that truly look good on me as opposed to buying whatever Instagram influencer/blogger is wearing.
Have you ever felt you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? One time at Chanel in Selfridges. This was many years ago. I used to live across from Selfridges and would frequent it a lot. I look younger than I actually am and, for that reason, wasn’t taken seriously. They think that because I am young (16/17), I won’t buy the item.
What are some factors that may dissuade you from buying a bag, even if you like it? If it’s too heavy that I won’t buy it. Also, if the leather scratches easily and if the item needs a lot more care than usual, then I won’t be buying it.
Is there a brand you outright refuse to buy? Why? I used to love Prada when I was 18/19/20, but now I am completely off it.
On Budgeting & Perceptions
Who pays for your bags? I do
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Maybe £8,000-10,000 a year
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No
Have your friends or family ever criticized your bag-buying habits? If so, how did you respond? Yes. I buy luxury items because I know that I deserve luxury. I am not “materialistic,” and I also don’t buy to show off or to show others that I own expensive things. I like subtle low-key items that are closet staples. I like a certain lifestyle, even when it comes to beauty products. I like the best of the best. I own it, and I’m not afraid of what others might say or think.
Have you ever made a significant sacrifice to afford a bag? If so, what was it? My father had bought me my very first Chanel Classic Bag when I was 19, and I ended up burning it (long story – very heartbreaking), and so I didn’t want him to buy me the same bag again. So after about 7 odd years, when I finished law school and got my first real job, I bought myself the same bag (it was CAD 2000 when I was 19, and I bought the same item for £3890, and that stung a bit)
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Maybe when I was a lot younger. For ex, in my final years at university, I just started buying bags and wallets with no regard for £ (most of these items I have donated or then passed on to my sisters, I have three, and yes, I am a triplet and we are all very different – safe to say I am the only one in my family with a “shopping addiction”)
Let’s get personal…
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I like to cook. I am always looking at recipes! I went to the Amalfi coast for a full-on cooking experience, and it was the best time of my life. I plan on making more trips in the coming years, starting with Puglia and then to Tuscany.
I also read a lot of books on anxiety and self-sabotage, and depression.
What is your greatest fear? To lose my family.
Which living person do you most admire? My mother. The strongest, most resilient person I know. The kindest and caring person, and also very forgiving. I have learnt patience and perseverance through her.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My ex-boyfriend (very inconsistent and unreliable).
What is your favorite journey you have taken so far? I started my life all over again, not so long ago. I used to live in London before from 2016 until 2019 when I went through the hardest time in my life (my biggest heartbreak) and I fell out of love with everything, even my work so I packed up my life and moved back to Pakistan and started living with my parents. I took time to heal (a lot of self reflection and therapy) and after less than two years, I came back to London. Got a job. Got a new place in a new area (Notting Hill) and just started all over again and it has been the best journey of my life.
Any parting words you would like to share with our readers? Not related to bags, but to life in general. The most important promises you make are the ones you make to yourself.