This Florida gal has bags on her mind! Well, perhaps not right now, as all of us in Florida are currently busy scrambling for last minute hurricane supplies, with Dorian looming and due to pummel most of the state come Sunday… Enjoy this CC installment and don’t forget to tell your own story at the link below.
Gender Identity: Female
Household Income: $5,000,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? Around 60
What bags are in your collection? I have a few Hermes, Chanel, Prada and other premium-designer pieces, but my collection is overwhelmingly LV. I love their service, and the styles fit really well with my aesthetic. Oddly, I don’t own a ton of plain monogram/DE or any DA, though–I really gravitate toward their leather bags and LE. So I have a couple Capucines, a couple epi pieces, etc.
I only became a purse snob, I mean aficionado, in the past six years or so, and I still have plenty of lower-end bags I love as well.
But as I’ve gotten really spoiled in terms of what handbag quality can be, I’ve found I need my day bags to be high-end, even if not necessarily designer. I really notice a difference in terms of wear and tear and how much a nice bag can elevate an okay outfit.
How much is your collection worth? How much is it worth, or how much did I spend, haha? I probably spent $90K-ish, but obviously they’re all used bags by now and worth much less.
What is your most expensive bag? An exotic LV Petite Malle. It was made for the Miami show featured on the PurseBlog last year. I definitely own more practical bags, but I love that carrying this is like walking around with a little piece of art.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I recently scored a LV Kusama Neverfull, and I’m so happy about it. I was late to the LV party and the Kusama party (having only become acquainted with her work a couple of years ago), but that collaboration was amazing, and I’m so glad to have a piece incorporating two of my favorites.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I dipped my toes in preloved with a Celine phantom luggage bag (which I still have and love), but my first in-store designer bag purchase was Hermes. I saw the Halzan and had to have it.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I’ve started casting my eye more and more toward Hermes. I tried on my first Kelly a couple of weeks ago, and I instantly understood why it has such a following. The Bolide and Lindy have been low-key on my wish list for a while, but when I was in the building phase of my collection, I couldn’t justify the purchase price. Truth be told, I still can’t justify it, but as I’m buying fewer bags, I have more disposable income in the bag fund, so I can buy fewer, pricier bags without needing to budget more for them.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My husband bought me a beautiful lambskin bag on our honeymoon in Italy. It’s not by a famous designer, but man do I love it.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? In general, I don’t live in a fashion-conscious enough area for people to recognize my bags. But I’ve definitely strategically chosen bags for different situations, depending on whether I want to fit in, fly under the radar, etc.
And I once got snubbed hard in an upscale store once while wearing an inexpensive bag. So like it or not, I know style influences other people’s perceptions.
How often do you buy new bags? Whenever I see something I like and that fills a gap in my collection. I bought four bags last month, which is really unusual for me, but I often go months without purchasing if nothing strikes my fancy.
I can be kind of an impulse buyer–I know the common wisdom is to research, research, research, before purchasing, but I know my taste and requirements well enough that I don’t make TOO many buying mistakes.
Which stores do you frequent the most? For bags? LV. I have never had anything but terrific service there, and I trust their aftercare completely. Otherwise, I do most of my shopping online. I like Yoox quite a bit.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Absolutely. As I said, I love limited edition items, and when they’re gone, they’re gone, so second-hand is the only option for ever owning them. I like Fashionphile and Yoogi’s, though I’ve done eBay in the past as well if I can secure multiple authentications.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Not specifically. I sell things that no longer work for me, but I never buy with the intention of selling. I get too attached!
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No, because almost none of my friends/family are handbag people. Anyway, I am not sure how many more my closet could reasonably accommodate!
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Absolutely not. It’s nice if they hold some value (who wants to buy a new Ferrari only to get Gremlin money back?), but I certainly don’t expect or rely on that. My investments are in the bank, and everything else is just for fun.
Who influences your buying decisions? Well, if it doesn’t sound too arrogant, I’d say me. I have a very set aesthetic, to where I’m reluctant to try new trends and I don’t branch out too much. I have a couple super stylish friends and family members whose wardrobes I admire, but it’s really not good for me to shop with them–I get influenced by their enthusiasm and wind up buying things that I never actually wear.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Absolutely. I have gotten some hard-to-find, limited items because of having a good relationship with SAs. Once I have a contact, I prefer to do my shopping with them. It also really makes my life easier because they get to know my taste and can make suggestions based on what I like, what I have, etc.
I just bought a bag at LV that had not been on my radar at all (Dauphine in Monogram Geant) because an SA I’ve been going to for years put it aside for me, based on knowing what I look for in a bag. Once I put it on, I was sold, even though I might not have given it another glance on the shelf. I just traveled with it, and it’s everything I want in a travel bag, so I’m really grateful to him for suggestions like these.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? Style and identity are so intertwined, and I see choosing clothes/bags/shoes/art/furniture as an exercise in defining self.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? I’m swimming in privilege, so mostly I don’t have to deal with this nonsense. Sorry to those who do.
Who pays for your bags? Mostly I do, but that’s a little misleading because my husband makes much more than I do. His earnings basically subsidize my lifestyle, giving me a lot of disposable income for my pay grade.
Also, he has purchased a couple of my pricier bags for me just because he’s terrific.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No. I cover bills, frequent costs and savings first, and there’s a certain amount I always like to see in my account. Whatever I have over and above that is fair game for however I want to spend it.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? I accidentally purchased a counterfeit in the days before I knew of TPF. :( I just thought I was getting a good deal.
I carried it even after I found out it was fake because I still liked the design, but I know more now about the counterfeit industry, and I wouldn’t do that today. I’m still atoning.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Not intentionally, though I don’t always tell him about them. He’s not necessarily passionate about fashion, and our discretionary spending accounts are separate, so I’d only be telling him about them in order to gush. Since it’s not an interest we share, I try to spare him.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Nothing too outlandish, though I usually put myself on a ban after a big spending spree until my reserves build back up. I have broken that ban a little early if there’s something I love and if my finances can still handle it.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? I was really close with my grandmother, and after she died, I was definitely using shopping as avoidance/an emotional crutch. I was spending a lot, and I wasn’t buying things for the sake of having that item but to try to bring some small joy into my life rather than dealing with the actual pain.
I know I shop more when going through a difficult time, so that’s something I work to stay aware of and consciously avoid.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Oh, I’m high-maintenance all the way around, haha. My husband and I both love to travel, and we are really into food and wine, which can definitely get expensive. We also collect rare books, which is becoming sort of archaic in this digital age, but we still love them.