Closet Confessionals

CC 218: The LA Food Stylist Who Loves Shopping Secondhand

"Sometimes when shopping for vintage items I panic and think I'll never find it again so I feel like I have to get it or I'll regret it."

In today’s brand new CC, we’re swooning over the enviable collection of an LA-based food stylist and chef who has been collecting bags for over 10 years. Now 35, CC 218 began collecting Rebecca Minkoff bags in her 20s when RM was in its heyday, and from there, she fell in love with luxury bags, too.

These days, CC 218 has a large collection of contemporary bags and around 20 luxury designer bags. CC 218 loves shopping secondhand, and many of her bags are covetable vintage styles from Gucci and Fendi. In fact, this handbag lover seldom purchases from the primary market, making online hunting her go-to bag-buying process.

While CC 218 does admit to feeling pressure when shopping from time to time, she states that her acquisitions are well thought out and mulled over. That being said, she hasn’t regretted any of her purchases but does admit to wishing she wore some of her bags more…so relatable! Read the full CC below, plus take a look at snaps from CC 218’s stunning collection.


Basic Bio

Your Age? 35
Your Gender Identity? Female
Where do you live? Los Angeles, California
What is your occupation? Chef/Food Stylist
What industry do you work in? Food Media/Production
Your annual salary? $90,000
Total Household Income? $90,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No


Onto The Bags

How many bags do you own? About 30+ and 20 designer

What bags are in your collection?

CC 218 Collection 8

How much is your collection worth? Don’t want to know.

What is your most expensive bag? Vintage Chanel Square Mini Flap Bag

Do you ever regret any of your bag purchases? If so, which ones and why? Thankfully no. There are some bags I wish I wore more but I don’t regret them.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? In my early 20s I got really into Rebecca Minkoff. At the time those seemed so expensive to me. But my first BIG non contemporary designer bag was my Balenciaga City Bag I got on eBay. It was cheap and in horrible condition but I dyed it and fixed it up and made it like new. I still have it.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Loewe Puzzle bag in the small size in tan with gold hardware. Celine Box Bag in the Teen size in a green color. Or another vintage Chanel.

Do you have a ‘holy grail’ dream bag you’ve always wanted to own? Yes…the Purple sequin Fendi Baguette (from Sex and the City). I have always wanted the vintage version but now they are impossible to find. So I’Il settle for the reissue. But It’ll take some time for me to be okay with spending that much on a bag thats really only for special occasions.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My first Chanel. I just never thought I would own one any time soon. Every time I look at it it makes me happy. And I love to smell her.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Probably. I try not to pay attention to it. I have a lot of people in my life that would never spend the amount of money I do on a bag. But I think my friends and family know me and know this is something that truly brings me joy and always has. Some times I’ll see someone staring at my bag and sizing me up. Something I am used to so I just ignore it.

If I go into a designer boutique I notice I get more attention and they seem to take me more seriously when I am wearing a designer bag. They are probably assuming I can afford it. Then I leave without buying anything because I usually always buy second hand. lol.

How do you take care of your bags?

All of my bags are in my closet stuffed and in their dust bags . I rotate often so I don’t wear them out. I also try to be mindful of things that could cause color transfer.

I wish I had the space to display them and see them everyday. However I heard they get really dusty that way.


CC 218 Collection
CC 218 Collection 2 1

On Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? It used to be once a year or more but I went a little nuts this past year so I am on punishment for a while.

Do you prefer shopping for bags online or in-store? Why? Always online. 9 times out of 10 I am buying pre loved and most of them are online retailers. I like to find the best deal I can. Also some resale websites let you put things on layaway which is amazing.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Fashionphile, eBay, Japanese Resellers and consignment stores.

Have you ever returned a bag after purchasing it? Why did you make that decision? No. There is usually such a long obsession and thought process behind my purchases. I’m always positive I want the bag. Thankfully I’ve never had quality or condition issues except maybe 1 time and I got some money back for the damage

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Always. As far as big designer brands I have only purchased 1 from a store. It was cheaper in store than resale because of how hard they were to get ahold of (Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis). I got lucky going into the store. I have also purchased designer SLG’s directly from store.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Not really. I do have a Poshmark and eBay accounts where I sell my older contemporary designer bags. Not necessarily to fund other purchases but to get rid of old bags I no longer wear.

Do you ever donate or gift your old bags? If so, to whom? To my family. Usually my aunt. I’ve given some very old bags to goodwill.

CC 218 Collection 4 1

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Nope. But when I see people with the bag I want it makes me want it more and I get more impatient.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? I know my Chanels probably are but that’s not why I purchased them.

Do you follow the latest fashion trends when deciding on your next purchase, or do you prefer classic styles? No I tend to like classic bags. Things I can carry forever.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? No since most of my shopping is online.

Do you enjoy shopping beyond just acquiring something new? Yes. I love searching for the perfect bag and looking for a good deal.

Have you ever felt you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity, or gender? As a woman of color that is something that I will probably always have to deal with. However depending on how I’m dressed that changes.

What are some factors that may dissuade you from buying a bag, even if you like it? Price and practicality.

Is there a brand you outright refuse to buy? Why? I can’t see myself ever buying anything from Hermès because of the prices. Or ever buying anything NEW from Chanel. Prices are insane and the quality doesn’t match. Now vintage Chanel… is amazing! The 24k gold plated hardware and buttery lamb skin is a game changer!


CC 218 Collection 3
CC 218 Collection 5

On Budgeting & Perceptions

Who pays for your bags? ME!

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? When I was being good I had a separate purse fund account I would add to every month. Now, not so much.

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Yes, when I was younger.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Nope

Have your friends or family ever criticized your bag-buying habits? If so, how did you respond? No. I usually get “WOOOW” or “You work hard, buy what you want.” If they did I would roll my eyes and tell them to mind their business.

Have you ever made a significant sacrifice to afford a bag? If so, what was it? Significant? No. Just putting a bag on a credit card. Won’t do it again.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No. I’m not going into debt or charging up credit cards. But when I purchased like 5 bags within year I felt bad. Like I could have and should have added that money to my savings. It’s not necessary or smart so I won’t do it again. Sometimes when shopping for vintage items I panic and think I’ll never find it again so I feel like I have to get it or I’ll regret it. It’s happened before and I’m still thinking about it LOL.


CC 218 Collection 7
CC 218 Collection 6

Let’s get personal…

Any other expensive hobbies or passions?

Jewelry, Travel and Food.

Being a Chef food is such a big part of my life. It makes me so happy.

What is your greatest fear? Death. Loosing someone close to me.

Which living person do you most admire? Hmmm… have to think on that one.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? Food.

What is your favorite journey you have taken so far? First trip to Paris last year.

Any parting words you would like to share with our readers? Do what makes you happy and brings you joy within your financial means. Life is short.

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