Today’s installment comes from you from this young magazine editor from Alabama who shares with us his experiences of what it’s like being a bag lover in a place where the general population doesn’t care much for designer fashion, much less shows enthusiasm for it.

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The Basics

Age: 22
Gender Identity: Male
Location: Alabama
Occupation: Magazine Director
Industry: Magazine/Newspaper
Salary: $25,000.00
Household Income: $25,000.00

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? 7

What bags are in your collection?

Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere 25 Damier Ebene
Marc Jacobs Tag Tote
Prada Tessuto Nylon Messenger Bag
Longchamp Le Pliage Small Tote
Coach Mens Flight Bag
Longchamp Le Pliage Neo Navy Blue

How much is your collection worth? $5,000

What is your most expensive bag? Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere 25 Damier Ebene. This bag has been my holy grail bag ever since it first came out. I originally wanted a Monogram Speedy B, but settled on the Damier Ebene for its more care-free leather. I bought it back in December of 2018 and use it often. I worried that it may be too small but it is the perfect size for me. I was brought on to the 25 size by Jerusha Couture TV on YouTube. She has a Speedy B 25 in the Monogram and since then I have loved the 25 size.

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Louis Vuitton. I have loved Louis Vuitton since I was about 14 or 15. I used to watch Louis Vuitton collection videos on YouTube all the time for hours. I have owned a few different LV pieces over the years but have sold and made money off them. I had a Saumur 35 from 1993, and Alma PM from 1995 and a Neverfull MM in the Damier Ebene print. I loved them all but they were never the Speedy B so I wasn’t really happy with them. I also have a vintage 6 ring key holder that I don’t use anymore due to wear.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was 19 when I got my first designer bag. I was looking on eBay at noon one day and spotted an auction for a Prada Tessuto Nylon Messenger and it was only going for $25. I ended up winning the auction last minute and got the bag for $32. A steal, I know. I was so pumped that from then on I have been hooked. I went on to purchase a Longchamp Le Pliage tote in and olive green color but turned around and sold it.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I have a few on my mind. I really want a small crossbody bag that I can use for shopping and everyday use. However, I really want a Céline Nano Luggage or an Hermès Evelyne. I like the TPM size of the Evelyne and saw one at market in Atlanta a few weeks ago and loved it. I want a Nano Luggage too now since Pheobe Philo is gone, the Luggage Tote is going to be a sought after bag.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Speedy B and my Prada. I love the Speedy because I worked so hard for that bag. I remember the feeling I had going into the store and looking over all the different Speedys. I almost didn’t get the bag because the SA thought the store was out since it was so close to Christmas. He ended up finding one in the back and it was the only Speedy B 25 in DE left in the store. My Prada I love just because it was my first designer piece. I love it and it makes me happy when I look at it because of how much of a steal it was.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes! I live in the south and me being a male and carrying a bag in general let a alone a designer bag, is not common. I get looks a lot but it doesn’t bother much anymore. I shop at the Saks in Birmingham and if I am carrying one of my lower end bags, I tend to not get any service or attention. I did purchase my Marc Jacobs tote there last month and was carrying my Speedy and I ended up having a conversation with the SA on fashion and marketing. So yeah, I think the bags change people’s view points.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? 2 or 3 times a year. It honestly depends on the type of bag. If it is going to be a big purchase I will save up and not buy anything for a while. Last year I purchased 3 (Coach Flight bag, Longchamp Le Pliage Neo and the LV Speedy B). This year I have purchased 2 so far and feel content right now (lets see how long this lasts lol). I try to shop around for a while before I do make a purchase to make I truly will like what I am buying.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Saks Fifth Avenue, Louis Vuitton and Nordstrom Rack. I live about an hour and a half from Birmingham so when I am there I make a day of it going around and looking at the new inventory. I have purchased two bags from Saks (Marc Jacobs Tag Tote and the LV Speedy B in the boutique). The LV Boutique is inside Saks so it really is a one stop shop. Nordstrom Rack also has some good deals too. One time I was there and found a Balenciaga Papier Tote for $700 new. Sometimes you have to look but you can get some decent things for a lower price. My small Longchamp Le Pliage Tote I got there for only $25 and it was new.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes. I frequent Fashionphile, The RealReal and eBay. I have purchased once from Fashionphile back in August. I got my Neverfull there on the Outlet section. I ended up selling it but it was a good bag, just not for me. I have bought a lot of bags off of eBay and sold there as well. The RealReal hasn’t dipped in my wallet yet but I do shop around on there a lot.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Totally. I sell bags to buy new ones simply because the bag I am selling doesn’t get used much. I also sell bags due to space to store them. I try to only have about 6-8 bags at a time. I am pretty maxed out right now so I have a few bags listed for sale right now. The Speedy, however will always be in my collection. I sell my bags on eBay mostly. I tried Poshmark and Mercari but they take so much out in commission that it isn’t worth it to me.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Sometimes.

Instagram is where I get a lot of envy. I follow a lot of fashion industry people and the bags they have are nuts. I recently went to Market in Atlanta and saw some bags I have never seen before (2 Birkins, Goyard St. Louis totes, Chanel Flap bags, Hermes Evelyne, and the list goes on). I feel pressure too since I am going to school for Fashion Merchandising. I feel like I should be styled well if I want to be taken serious in the fashion industry. I know it sounds dumb but if a Louis is going to help me move forward in my career then so be it.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? It depends on the bag. Right now I do not have anything that is over the top. If I ever had the money I would buy a vintage Chanel or Hermès Birkin/Kelly. The vintage Chanels have 24kt gold plated hardware which makes them very valuable. The Birkin/Kelly have such a big resale value that you could buy a Birkin new in store, wear it for a few years and sell it and make your money back if not more. Bags have become big investments even though people don’t realize it. When you get into exotic skins, especially from Hermès, you’re talking big money for resale.

Who influences your buying decisions? I do sometimes. Sometimes it can be a certain clothing item. I will look at a pair of shoes that I own and think “Ya know, a Balenciaga City in silver metallic leather would go good with those” and then I am hooked for months. Instagram and YouTube do not help either. I watch a lot of handbag reviews and collections on YouTube and it makes me want to broaden my collection.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Depends on the fashion house. Hermès, for sure, but not all fashion houses are as exclusive. The LV Boutique I shop at is great with customer service. Here in the south we have “southern hospitality” so the SA’s tend to be real nice and helpful. My SA Josh at LV was real helpful when buying my Speedy. He looked all over for the right size and print until he found hidden away in the back. If you are ever in Birmingham, AL Saks and want a Louis, go in the boutique and ask for Josh!

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I like to see the new collections in person. I live in a small conservative town so fashion is not a big thing. I feel like a fish out of water a lot because fashions is number 9849389 on people’s priority list here. I like to look at bags in person especially when its a rare bag or a bag I have never held/seen before. I also like to hit up the stores because it is relaxing for me. I like to shop alone because I feel less judged for what I want to buy. It gives me anxiety having someone follow me around while I look for bags and other stuff. Also I could spend hours looking at bags, so if I am by myself then I do not have to worry about wasting someone else’s time.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Yes. In the south, I tend to not get a lot of service in the stores because I am a male. I went into Saks one time and the main entrance is by the beauty counter, right as I walk in I got the up down look from some of the women at the counter. I was carrying my Longchamp Le Pliage Neo but I guess it wasn’t good enough. Now I do not get that many looks because I think they recognize my face and have gotten over the fact that I am going to continue to come in.

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Me and me only. My family has not paid for my bags and I do not want them to. They do not get spending thousands for a bag so the wont ever buy me one. I like paying for them myself because I feel empowered for working hard to be able to buy the bags. I have bought other bags for other people though. Mostly Michael Kors for my mom and grandmother. I love watching their faces when they carry them and love how they feel when they carry them. I also wanted them to have a nice bag that had better quality than the normal everyday bags they have.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No, I do not normally do. However, I did do this for my Speedy. It was the most expensive bag I had purchased at the time so I wanted to make sure I was able to have some wiggle room after spending $1,600 on a bag. Most of my other bags have been spur of the moment because they were not priced very high. My Marc Jacobs Tag Tote was spur of the moment mainly because it was on sale.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Yes, I was in NYC on Canal Street in China Town. My grandmother took me for my high school graduation in 2015. While we were there a cousin of ours told us about Canal Street and how you can buy knock-off handbags. I went to look and ended up buying a fake Louis Vuitton Abbesses bag and a Michael Kors bag for my mom. I still have the LV but do not use it. I am always afraid of someone seeing it and realizing it is fake. I would not ever buy another fake again because I feel weird when I use it. I do have another bag that is a dupe more than a fake. I really want a Birkin/Kelly but am not at that level of price yet. I found a bag called the Ainifeel Padlock Bag on Mercari. It looks exactly like the Birkin and is even all genuine leather and it was only $100. It doesn’t have any Hermes logos on any hardware or on the interior so its more a dupe.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Lol, I don’t have a significant other to hide from but if I did, I don’t think I would. Now I do sometimes hide purchases from family because they will gripe about saving but I do having savings accounts and retirement plans already set up for the future. As long as you can afford your shopping habit and you’re not murdering your credit to do so, then what’s the issue?

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I think the craziest thing I have done was buying my Speedy. It was a lot of money for me at the time because I had never spent that before on anything except my car. I was nervous but now I look back on it and can’t wait to buy another LV soon.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No, I think living so far away from the stores helps not having a problem. However, online shopping is hard because it is so convenient to sit in your pajamas and buy bags from your phone or computer without leaving the house. I have bad shopper’s guilt or buyer’s remorse anyways so I tend to regret things as soon as I buy them but after a day it goes away lol. Plus, I rarely buy things full price. I tend to be a bargain hunter with everything except shoes, I am weird when it comes to shoes.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I have gotten into designer jewelry and shoes. I currently have two pairs of Yeezy’s that I got last year and I have never spent more on a pair of shoes before than I did then. I am also obsessed with designer jewelry. I am really wanting and Hermes Clic H bracelet. I have been eyeing them for days and see myself getting one here soon. I also have been eyeing the slip on Gucci Horsebit Loafers in black but summer is almost over so I don’t think buying them now is a good thing. However, If I can find a deal on some Gucci Ace sneakers, I may have to consider.

Anything else you would like to include? I so glad that the PurseBlog and PurseForum exists. I like reading other Closet Confessions and maybe mine will just as entertaining. To all the other handbag lovers out there, I wish you the best of luck this year and may you get the holy grail you’re looking for soon!

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