Today’s submission comes at you from a fellow South Floridian, namely a mid-30s Real Estate Project Manager from Miami with a serious affinity for Louis Vuitton. Most of his collection is comprised of Keepalls, with the crown jewel being the mega desirable Supreme Camo Keepall. We recall shooting this bag for the ’17 Holiday gift guide and at the time the Supreme Camo Keepall was selling on the resale market for close to $10,000. The hype is real. Don’t forget to tell your own story and hit the link below to submit your own confessional.
Gender Identity: Male
Location: Miami, FL
Occupation: Real Estate Project Manager
Household Income: $250,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No
How many bags do you own? 13
What bags are in your collection?
LOUIS VUITTON – mostly Keepalls in various sizes and materials and work bags (messenger and computer tote). A few portfolios as well and a Pegase suitcase.
GUCCI – a Diaper bag (random eBay buy) and a portfolio.
GOYARD – a portfolio.
Various wallets and key cases from Gucci, Goyard, Louis Vuitton.
How much is your collection worth? $45,000
What is your most expensive bag? It is a toss up between my Louis Vuitton Sac Tenis duffle bag (a 2004 runway piece that is actually a tennis bag) and my Louis Vuitton Supreme Camo Keepall 45. Both were bought secondhand and both were “investments”…IE they were expensive ($3,500+).
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Definitely Louis Vuitton. My mother was always a fan of the brand and carried a Speedy until it fell apart in the 80s. I remember when she really wanted a Mountsouris GM backpack in the late 90s and we went to the store to pick it out and they gave me a copy of their product catalog (called Le Catalogue). I thumbed through it and wore it out. From then on, I was hooked!
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I got my first Louis Vuitton wallet at 18. It was a monogram billfold and I loved it, and I remember I had to save up for it from my paycheck from my high school job. It was a big deal going to the store and picking it out.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I definitely want a piece of luggage, so probably the Louis Vuitton Horizon rolling suitcase. I will need to save for that, though!
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Two bags in particular: my first Louis Vuitton Keepall. I was dating someone and going back and forth from my place to theirs, and my mom got me the Monogram one in a the 60 size. It was a thoughtful gift and I really treasure it. Also, my first boyfriend was obsessed with the Louis Vuitton Abesses messenger bag. We were young then, so I couldn’t afford it, but I saw one 5 years ago on the second hand market and immediately bought it. I don’t use it much but it reminds me of those carefree days and good times.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Where I live (in Miami), people definitely perceive people differently based on what they wear. I don’t give any weight to it, and whatever you carry doesn’t matter to me, but I definitely think there is a perception of me that changes when I travel or go to work with a designer item versus a non-designer item (or one that is not easily recognizable as designer).
How often do you buy new bags? I’m not on a set schedule, but if I see something I like, I’ll keep it on my radar and then make a decision about it. Usually, if it is a new item, it will take a few days to a week to wrestle with the decision and then go for it, or not. If it is a pre-owned item, and the price is right, I’ll take the plunge that minute. I love a good deal so if there is something worth it, I’ll act fast!
Which stores do you frequent the most? I love Saks (always have since I was a kid) and the Saks I go to has a lot of the designer stores within it, so I can browse and see what is available. The Louis Vuitton store in Saks usually has more men’s items than the boutique in the mall near me, so I’ll go to that one first. I do like going to flagship stores though, so if it is a big, planned out purchase, I might head to Miami’s Design District because all of the stores there are so architectural and experiential. I rarely shop online for new items, although I will check websites for inventory updates.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? eBay and LetGo (a localized buy and sell app) have done me well for pre-owned items. I’m pretty careful with what I buy and I can tell a fake from an authentic item pretty much from the photos, so buying on an app isn’t scary for me. Plus on eBay, if the auction says it is authentic and it isn’t, there is a built in protection for fraud, depending on the credit card you use to pay with (eBay tip: always use a credit card, never a debit card or bank account, to pay for this very reason….American Express has a great fraud department). I’ve also scored some awesome accessories (a Louis Vuitton initiales belt for $100 and pair of Monte Carlo loafers for $200…both authentic!) on LetGo. There are a few high-end consignment stores that I go to as well, although it is hit or miss for the items and some of them charge higher prices than what the item is worth, so those aren’t big on my list.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I haven’t….yet. I’m lucky in that I can afford to buy what I want (knock on wood!) and that I have enough space to house everything. That being said, if there was a big ticket item that I wanted, I would definitely consider clearing out some of the items I don’t use to both defray the cost and create some more space in my closet. I have sold older watches that I don’t wear to cover the cost of a new one though, and I’ve helped my mom and some friends sell some of their bags that they weren’t using to cover the cost of new ones, so I know my way around the second-hand market.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Being a guy, the answer for bags is no. I buy bags because I like them for their utility and their looks, not because society tells me I need to. I also have a ton of non-designer work bags that I use when I’m visiting construction job-sites and attending casual meetings, so I know that a nice bag isn’t the only option. That being said, I think with accessories, society can put pressure on guys to have nice belts and shoes and watches, so I definitely feel that pressure to keep up in that arena.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Yes, at least that is what I tell myself sometimes to justify the cost. I usually don’t buy trendy items and stick to the classics, so if I needed to sell them, I could. That being said, I do want a few pieces from Virgil Abloh’s collection with the orange trim, and those would DEFINITELY be investments!
Who influences your buying decisions? Me, myself, and I. When I shop for bags or other luxury goods, I usually go alone so I don’t have anyone trying to talk me in or out of a purchase. Also, I am not afraid to tell an SA “no” if there is something I don’t like that they are trying to push.
I remind myself that they aren’t my friends, they don’t know me, and that most importantly, it is my hard earned money at stake here. On a broader level, maybe some celebrities and Instagram feeds will alert me to new trends or items, but since again, it is my money, I tend to make the decisions myself.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Yes and no. I have a Louis Vuitton SA that is awesome and will text me whenever something comes in that he thinks I will like, but I also know that it is a business relationship, so I tend to keep him at an arms length. I do try to give him the first stab at my business though, and he has run out to pull something I wanted that was at another store. I always make sure to tell his manager when I can about his great service. As far as the other brands go, I don’t really keep relationships with any SAs. I haven’t been burned with bad service yet.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? When I was growing up, my dad built shopping centers and malls, so I love going to malls and seeing what people are doing and how they are interacting. Every city around the world I travel to, I have to go to a mall, much to the annoyance of my friends who I travel with. Shopping doesn’t really satisfy a need or a desire for me, but there are those days when you just need a new shirt, and I definitely can give into that impulse!
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? No. Miami, and South Florida, is a pretty diverse and welcome place, so I’ve never felt like I’ve received inferior service. There are also enough stores from each brand that I like in my area that if I did feel like I was being judged, I could take my business elsewhere. That being said, I don’t really notice these things anyway and I also tend to be to-the-point and know what I want, so I don’t take up too much of an SAs time, which may help things along.
Who pays for your bags? Me. I work hard and am smart with what I buy. I also keep a pretty good budget and know what is left over for fun money at the end of each month, so I tend to either save for something I want or have the money ready to go.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? It depends. If there is a big ticket item, then yes, I’ll take some money and put it aside and then build up a savings to afford it. If there is something that is smaller or more affordable, and I have the cash in my account, then I’ll go for it outside of a budget.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No. I don’t judge anyone if they do buy counterfeit items because they can’t afford the authentic equivalent, though.
My ethos is do what you have to do. I can be a bit sentimental so a lot of my purchases come with a meaning (working hard, a reward, a gift, etc.), and I’d just rather have the whole designer experience than go counterfeit.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Yes, yes, yes. We have separate closets and bathrooms so I can be pretty sneaky. Sometimes I’ll tell him that I’m buying something because I need it, but most of the time I’ll just go on my own and either he won’t notice what I got or I’ll gradually introduce it. He knows that Louis Vuitton never goes on sale, so I can’t use that excuse that it was a bargain, however at the end of the day, we keep separate bank accounts so it is my money and as long as the household isn’t impacted, he doesn’t have an issue with it.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? For my Louis Vuitton Supreme Camo Keepall, I used part of a small inheritance that I received to pay for it. I knew that the money was coming, and I REALLY wanted that bag, and it is so expensive on the second-hand market, so I bought it and then paid off the credit card when the money came. The inheritance came with a note to be wild and crazy with it, so I feel like I did my dearly departed relative proud!
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No. I definitely can be impulsive and drive to the mall or to a store, but when it comes to actually buying something, more often than not I leave empty handed. I do see how people can become addicted to shopping, though, because it is really satisfying.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? We play golf at a private club, which is definitely expensive on all ends. We’ve also had a boat before, and that wasn’t cheap either. We also really like dining out and drinking good liquor, so that adds up, and we enjoy going to football games (Go Dolphins!). I also love BMWs and try to get a new one every year. Luckily I was never bit by the travel bug, so I don’t have to splurge on that.
Anything else you would like to include? This was pretty interesting and insightful, and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Don’t be too mean in the comments!
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